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.
FERC SETS TIMELINE
TO REVIEW THE BILATERAL CONTRACT CONTAINED IN PG&E'S PLAN OF REORGANIZATION
SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific
Gas and Electric Company issued the following statement after the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order setting
a schedule to review one of the key elements of the utility's plan
Yesterday, the Commission
issued an order establishing a hearing schedule to review PG&E's
request for approval of a 12-year power sales agreement between
the reorganized Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the new generation
company created under the plan (Gen). The proposed contract would
be for the 7,100 megawatts of power generated from Diablo Canyon,
hydroelectric facilities, and irrigation district agreements. The
contract will provide the utility's customers a stable source of
power at reasonable prices - averaging about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour
over the life of the contract. Most important, PG&E's plan of reorganization,
including the bilateral contract, will be accomplished without an
increase in existing rates.
"Pacific Gas and Electric
Company is pleased with the Commission's schedule to review this
element of our plan of reorganization. The hearing schedule set
by FERC is consistent with the company's goal to implement its plan
by January 1, 2003.
"Governor Davis and other
California officials have expressed a desire to end the state's
role in purchasing power and return that function to the utilities
by the beginning of next year. Returning the utilities to an investment-grade
credit rating is essential to allowing them to resume buying power.
"In the FERC proceeding,
PG&E will demonstrate the many benefits that this contract will
provide its customers and creditors. By ensuring stability and reasonable
prices for a significant portion of the electricity used by the
utility's customers, this contract will go a long way toward preventing
any return of the dramatic price fluctuations California endured
during 2000 and 2001."
The Commission's action
comes in response to applications submitted by the utility on November
30, 2001, seeking federal regulatory approval of transactions proposed
under the plan of reorganization. The utility's FERC applications
seek these regulatory approvals under provisions of the Federal
Power Act and Natural Gas Act.