EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Federal Government's Leadership On Natural Gas And Electricity Supply
SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific
Gas and Electric Company issued the following statement today in
response to U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham's extension of
the orders directing electricity and gas suppliers to continue selling
and delivering to California:
"Secretary Abraham's decision
to extend the federal orders directing natural gas and electricity
suppliers to keep energy flowing to homes and businesses in Northern
and Central California is a welcome and timely response to a situation
that has the potential to worsen the energy crisis the state already
is experiencing. Secretary Abraham and his staff had an extremely
short amount of time to address this aspect of California's energy
crisis, and their ability and willingness to act quickly and decisively
is much appreciated. We look forward to working with the new Administration
to develop solutions to the state's continuing gas and electricity
supply problems. We also appreciate the ongoing efforts of Senator
Dianne Feinstein, Congressmen Jerry Lewis and Sam Farr, and the
entire California Congressional delegation in bringing these critical
issues to the attention of the new Administration.
"Conservation is going to
be more important now than ever," said Jeff Butler, Pacific Gas
and Electric Company's vice president of operations, maintenance
and construction. "We urge all of our customers to do whatever they
can to conserve energy during our current energy crisis over the
next several days. If we all do a little, it may be enough to help
the state avoid rotating outages."
"The two week duration of
the orders will allow California's lawmakers, regulators and energy
industry officials much-needed additional time to develop long-term
solutions to the myriad energy problems facing the state. However,
if the orders expire in two weeks and there has been no resolution
by policy makers, the state will again face the possibility of severe
gas and electricity shortages.
Under the state's Electric
Emergency Plan, the CAISO calls upon the program during Stage 2
Emergencies to reduce the chance for rotating block outages. Since
the program has been virtually used up, the CAISO will no longer
be able to call on Pacific Gas and Electric Company's interruptible
customers to reduce their usage.
"In the past week, more
than 1 million customers in Northern California experienced power
outages because of the electricity shortage, and the potential for
gas shortages has grown more likely every day. The threat of natural
gas and electricity shortages in the middle of winter -- when residents
depend on a steady supply to heat and light their homes -- is especially
frightening because of the potential impact on elderly and people
with health problems."