News Release


DATE: December 14, 2000

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



A federal plan that aims to calm California's energy woes provides San Diego ratepayers with zero relief from the region's staggering electric debt, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said Friday.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will allow utilities to deal outside the power grid but failed to enact a price cap on wholesale energy prices for the entire western power market.

Additionally, the Commission refused to address the issue of retroactive refunds for San Diego consumers slammed by an astronomical electricity tab, a key demand Jacob made when she testified before FERC last month.

"I am demanding consumer payback from the excessive profiteering of power generators," Jacob said. "Friday's measures may help in the long run, they do nothing to stem our mounting deficit right now," Jacob said.

As San Diego region's electric debt mushroomed to nearly $400 million under the state's emergency 6.5 cent rate cap, Jacob called on FERC to immediately reconsider ordering retroactive refunds.

"Energy is a lifeline, not a luxury," Jacob said. "FERC's refusal to rectify this summer's unjust electricity gouging is outright negligent for a supposed public protection agency," Jacob said.