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.
PG&E ISSUES STATEMENT FOLLOWING
RELEASE OF CPUC REPORT
SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric
Company today issued the following statement, in response to the
report released by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC):
"It is premature to comment in detail about
the CPUC report issued late today. We plan to study and evaluate
this report thoroughly. As the CPUC is well aware:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company procured power for its customers
in accordance with all CPUC requirements, despite having to
make purchases at rates substantially higher than those that
it could charge to customers. As the CPUC report confirms, these
purchases have resulted in uncollected amounts of $6.7 billion
as of December 31, 2000.
The transfer of approximately $4 billion from Pacific Gas and
Electric Company to PG&E Corporation was consistent with CPUC
directives. PG&E shareholders invested their money to build
the utility's power plants, and, under California law, when
those plants were sold under deregulation, shareholders were
entitled to recover their investments.
CPUC rules require sharp lines between the corporation's utility
and non-utility businesses and establish a rigorous framework
to ensure that those lines are observed. Ratepayers are not
to subsidize the growth of PG&E's national business - and they
The report suggests that the use of affiliate earnings and
greater cash conservation efforts could have made a difference.
That is simply not the case. Even if the $117 million of NEG
earnings that the report attributes to California were used
to purchase power and the utility implemented Draconian cash
conservation measures - including laying off every management
employee, reducing the rank-and-file workforce by an additional
one-thousand employees, breaking contracts and implementing
a salary freeze on Union employees -- the total savings would
amount to less than one month's worth of power at current prices.
"The important objective of all
parties - the utilities, lawmakers and regulators including the
CPUC -- should be to move expeditiously to achieve a constructive
solution to the energy crisis, which is threatening the safety of
Californians and the economic well-being of the state."