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.
STATEMENT FOLLOWING CPUC PRESIDENT LYNCH ANNOUNCEMENT ON RATE STABILIZATION
SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific
Gas and Electric Company today issued the following statement in
response to California Public Utilities Commission President Loretta
Lynch's statement on the company's Rate Stabilization Plan:
"President Lynch issued
an extraordinary order suspending the lawfully filed Rate Stabilization
Plan by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. We believe Commissioner
Lynch's actions are unjustified and fail to reflect an appreciation
of the current turmoil in the energy and financial markets.
"Pacific Gas and Electric
Company filed its Rate Stabilization Plan to fulfill its promise
to customers that we would insulate them from the rate shock that
affected customers in San Diego.
"Commissioner Lynch's actions
would remove our ability to protect customers from inevitable increases
due to the underlying demand and supply imbalance in the wholesale
electricity market. Delaying these inevitable increases ensures
that customer rates ultimately will be higher.
"The date on which the rate
freeze ended is determined by law and is the earlier of either March
2002 or when PG&E has recovered all of its stranded generation costs.
That occurred no later than the end of August 2000.
"Since this crisis began
in June, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has borrowed billions
of dollars to pay the energy bills for its customers. Today, wholesale
prices are higher than they ever have been, and energy markets are
in turmoil. Pacific Gas and Electric Company doesn't have the financial
capacity to continue to buy power at outrageous wholesale prices
if we are only allowed to charge customers a fraction of the cost
of the power they use."