Prop 16 Would Have Locked Californians into Multi-Billion Dollar Utility Rate Increases Now Before State Regulators

PG&E has some of the highest rates in the United States, and the energy giant is now seeking the largest rate increase in its history. PG&E is currently (as of April, 2010) requesting a $5 Billion rate increase at the California Public Utilities Commission - a thirty percent increase over three years, the largest in its history. Since its second major ratepayer bailout in 2003, PG&E Corporation is making massive new investments and signing multi-year powerplant fuel contracts to build new fossil fuel power plants throughout Northern California, as well as a major new 240 mile pipeline and fossil fuel importation terminal on the Oregon border. In short, this gas importation company is overinvesting in gas-fired power to maximize its profits, threatening California's economy with devastating rate increases from increasingly volatile gas prices. Thus, PG&E will continue to harm California's economy as the result of its poor investment decisions.

At issue in Prop 16 was PG&E's effort to make its customers captive again, after it was bailed out to surrender its power monopoly rights in 1996 and again for bankruptcy in 2003. To make California's economy captive, PG&E's Prop 16 would have disabled California local governments from exercising traditional local control over energy infrastructure planning, forcing elections and allowing a 34% minority to filibuster needed local infrastructure and planning, even for something as basic as providing power to new businesses and homes. That is why the California Asociation of Realtors came out officially opposed to Prop 16 - it would have harmed the economy and imposed gridlock on local communities in the middle of the nation's economic crisis. Silicon Valley's leading high tech association, California Manufacturers and Technology Association, opposed Prop 16. The Santa Clara County Chamber of Commerce Coalition, a coalition of Silicon Valley's local chambers of commerce, also voted to oppose Prop 16, as did the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, whose members voted 79-2 to oppose Prop 16, and the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. See the articles below.

 

ARTICLES AROUND ELECTION TIME

"Sacramento chamber stands up for SMUD, against Prop. 16," The Sacramento Bee blog by Foon Rhee (June 1, 2010)

"Rising costs mean more money for PG&E," Bakersfield Californian article by John Cox (May 29, 2010)

"San Diego Chamber of Commerce Joins Labor, Consumer & Environmental Groups in opposing Prop 16 - Utility company spent $45 million to support measure that would make it harder for cities and counties to provide cheaper power alternatives to consumers," East County Magazine article (May 26, 2010)

"PG&E Asks Regulators for a $4 BILLION Hike in Power Rates - Largest in History," BeyondChron article by Paul Hogarth (May 25, 2010)

"Hearings to begin on electricity rate hikes for PG&E," California Farm Bureau Federation article by Christine Souza (May 25, 2010)

"LA County Republicans Ain't Buying -- Demise of Prop 16 Among Conservative, Pro-Market Voters," PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet blog by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman (May 23, 2010)

"Who's fighting PG&E on Prop 16?," The San Francisco Bay Guardian article by Rebecca Bowe (May 21, 2010)

"Prop. 16 foes say measure would hurt Roseville," The Modesto Bee article by Ed Fletcher (May 19, 2010)

"Sacramento supervisors oppose PG&E's Prop. 16 ballot measure," The Modesto Bee article by Robert Lewis (May 18, 2010)

"PG&E transfers billions out of state for SmartMeter program," Stop the PG&E Power Grab blog by Local Power Inc. Senior Carbon Analyst David Erickson (May 16, 2010)

"Prop 16 drafting error would spew pestilence across 48 real estate markets in California," PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet blog by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman (May 16, 2010)

"Farmers, water interests oppose California's Proposition 16," Capital Press article by Wes Sander (May 13, 2010)

"Chambers of Commerce Coalition of Santa Clara County Opposes Prop 16," No on Prop 16 Campaign Announcement (May 7, 2010)

"Prop 15 Limits on Competition Would Erect "a Constitutional Iron Curtain" to Lock in Customers," PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet article by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman (May 9, 2010)

"Woodland City Council opposes PG&E's Prop. 16: Soon-to-be-mayor Pimentel believes utility wants stranglehold on Woodland, Yolo County," Woodland Daily Democrat article by James Noonan (May 6, 2010)

"Legislation that made Marin Clean Energy possible emerged from chaos of deregulation," Marin Independent Journal article by Richard Halstead (May 5, 2010)

"Legislation that made Marin Clean Energy possible emerged from chaos of deregulation," Marin Independent Journal article by Richard Halstead (May 5, 2010)

"PG&E Slammed for Illegal Efforts to Stifle Competition: California Public Utilities Commission warns utility company's actions are illegal," NBC Bay Area article by Jackson West (May 4, 2010)

"Utility warned about violating rules on Community Choice," Sunpluggers article by Michael Balchunas (May 4, 2010)

"Utilities do battle on California Ballot," Wall Street Journal article by Rebecca Smith (May 3, 2010)

"Prop 16 Could Turn the Light Out on California Energy Market," California Independent Voter Network article by Mytheos Holt (May 3, 2010)

"Utilities do battle on California Ballot," Wall Street Journal article by Rebecca Smith (May 3, 2010)

"San Diego Chamber Votes 79-2 to Oppose Prop 16: Is PG&E's Whopper Indigestible?," PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet article by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman (May 2, 2010)

"MORAIN: PG&E: From bankruptcy to bully Utility is bankrolling initiative to keep competitors off its turf," Modesto Bee Opinion by Dan Morain (April 14, 2010)

"PG&E Proposes Farm Rate Hikes," California Farmer article (April 12, 2010)

"Dan Morain: PG&E flips the switch on a ballot power play," Sacramento Bee opinion by Bee Senior Editor Dan Morain (April 11, 2010)

 

"Power to PG&E: Firm turns initative process into way to protect their profits," The Manteca Bulletin article by Dennis Wyatt (April 8, 2010)

"10 Biggest Bankruptcies in History - PG&E," Wall Street Cheat Sheet, by Derek Hoffman (April 7, 2010)

"Darbee's Shaky Finger on the Trigger of PG&E's Rate Design Begins to Terrify the Customers" PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet blog by former Caliornia Energy Commissioner John Geesman (March 28, 2010)

"Public utilities sue to disqualify Prop. 16," Merced Sun-Star report (March 29, 2010)

"Committee recommends against Prop. 16," Bakersfield Californian article by John Cox (March 26, 2010)

"Prop 16 is June's priciest ballot initiative, with PGandE coughing up big money," iStockAnalyst article (March 26, 2010)

"GOLIS: Proposition 16, the $35 million question," Santa Rosa Press Democrat article by Pete Golis (March 21, 2010)

 

MID-MARCH

"California Manufacturers & Technology Association announces opposition to Prop 16," California Manufacturers & Technology Association Website web site announcement of official CMTA positions (March 19, 2010)

"Marin Energy Authority files complaint against PG&E," North Bay Business Journal article by Jenna V. Loceff (March 12, 2010)

"Bakersfield municipal utility vote set for November," iStockAnalyst article by James Burger (March 9, 2010)

"Silicon Valley cities fear PG&E power play," Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal article by David Goll (March 5 2010)

"PG&E Starts Robocorp Trend as Tex Oil Companies Fund California Ballot Initiative - Texas Refiners Mum About Funding Push to Halt Calif. Climate Law," New York Times article by Colin Sullivan (March 3 2010)

"PG&E Plans To Spend $7 Billion To $10 Billion On Projects Over Next 2 Years," Down Jones Newswires story (March 3 2010)

"Former president of coalition opposing Marin Clean Energy says he supports local initiative," Marin Independent Journal article by Richard Halstead (March 5 2010)

 

FEBRUARY

"PG&E's threat to halt Marin electricity deliveries - Does Peter Darbee Think he's CEO of Gazprom?," PG&E Pallot Initiative Factsheet blog by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman (February 21, 2010)

"PG&E's proposed Prop 16 would mean less power and money for CIty of Gridley,"The Gridley Herald (Butte County, CA) article by Lisa Van De Hay (February 24, 2010)

"California Association of Realtors (CAR) formally opposes Prop 16,"California Association of Realtors position statement by its Board of Directors (February 15, 2010)

"What do California Realtors Know About Prop. 16 that the State Chamber of Commerce Doesn't?,"PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet article by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman (February 15, 2010)

"The Chamber of Commerce Overlooks Prop 16's Massive Drafting Errors," California Progress Report article by Brian Leubitz (February 16, 2010)

"PG&E spending millions to block local utilities," San Jose Mercury News article by Dana Hull (January 31, 2010)

"PG&E customers feel sticker shock from rising rates," Fresno Bee (Feb 07, 2010)

"Irrigation district to oppose latest PG&E rate hike ," Central Valley Business Times (February 1, 2010)

"Valley Town Battling PG&E," KMJNOW News Talk Radio (February 1, 2010)

"PG&E SmartMeters likely to boost shut-offs," San Francisco Chronicle article by David R. Baker (January 26, 2010)

"Manteca, Ripon & Escalon say ‘yes’ to SSJID, ‘no’ to PG&E," Manteca Bulletin article by Dennis Wyatt, Managing Editor (February 3, 2010)

"Jump in service disconnections sparks move by California," Los Angeles Times article by Marc Lifsher (February 5, 2010)

or any other official political action or campaign committees related to Prop 16 or other ballot initiatives.