News Release

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB

DATE: January 6, 2001

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

 

JACOB APPEALS TO U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY TO CURB RUNAWAY ELECTRIC RATES

SAN DIEGO - County of San Diego Supervisor Dianne Jacob is calling on the top gun of the nation's Energy Department to evoke the authority granted to him under the Federal Power Act and order fair market pricing for wholesale electric power.

"Secretary Bill Richardson has the power to issue orders of emergency in times of crisis," said Jacob. "At no time in history has the need for his intervention been more evident," she said.

"It is his duty to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order power generators to charge no more than fair cost of producing energy," Jacob said. "The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must not allow suppliers to reap excessive profits from the citizens of California," she wrote in a letter dated January 4, 2001.

Jacob's appeal comes just as the California Power Utilities Commission voted to raise consumer electricity rates nine percent to keep the state's two largest utilities from declaring bankruptcy.

San Diego County's retail electricity provider, San Diego Gas and Electric is expected to seek a similar rate hike as the utility's debt continues to rise.

"The region's energy debt has now mushroomed well above $500 million dollars and I am disappointed in the state and federal agencies whose mission it is to prevent a crisis of this magnitude," Jacob said. "It now falls on Secretary Richardson to help save California from an economic breakdown," she said.