News Release


DATE: August 8, 2000

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108


Board of Supervisors Gives More Support to Consumers

San Diego - In the latest in a series of efforts to fight the dramatically escalating energy prices, the Board of Supervisors is lending its support to a federal measure aimed at eliminating the preferential treatment now given to public power agencies and municipalities. Led by Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Greg Cox, the Board unanimously voted to support the Fairness in Electricity Supply Act of 2000 authored by Congressman Brian Bilbray (CA-49) and designed to bring a long-term solution for San Diego County consumers.

Noting that Congressman Bilbray's bill will help address the long-term needs of San Diego County consumers, Chairwoman Dianne Jacob stated, "San Diego County is on the brink of human and economic disaster! We have an emergency and time is of the essence. It's important that we do all we can to stop this gouging. Congressman Brian Bilbray's bill, The Fairness in Electricity Supply Act of 2000, will provide another option to help save consumers," she added.

Over the last few months, San Diego County residents and business owners have seen an unprecedented increase in their electric bills.

"There is an urgent need for action from our federal government to address this crisis," said Supervisor Greg Cox. He continued, "what we're talking about is not a quick fix, but a well thought-out and permanent solution to help San Diego County residents." Supervisor Cox also made note of the steps the County is taking to reduce electricity usage to lower costs for "a user where the taxpayer pays the bill."

Congressman Bilbray, speaking on behalf of the Fairness in Electricity Supply Act of 2000 stated, "I'd like to thank the Board of Supervisors for taking this proactive step in helping me to help the consumer."

The Fairness in Electricity Supply Act of 2000, authored by Congressman Bilbray, would give private-and investor-owned utilities like SDG&E the same purchasing advantage already enjoyed by public power agencies. The measure will soon be introduced and is expected to move quickly through Congress.

The Board of Supervisors action today is the latest in a series of efforts to seek a long-term solution to the outrageously high and dramatically increasing energy prices experienced by San Diego county consumers. On July 25, 2000, the Board declared a State of Emergency due to escalating energy rates. Chairwoman Jacob and Vice-Chairman Roberts were part of the local delegation that appeared before the California Public Utilities Commission last week.