October 02, 2001
Contact: News Department (415) 973-5930  
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.


(SAN FRANCISCO) - Pacific Gas and Electric Company today issued the following statement on the legal settlement reached today between Southern California Edison (SCE) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC):

"We are pleased that Southern California Edison has reached an agreement with the CPUC to resolve the debt it was forced to incur to pay its customers' energy costs. Anything that would return utilities to financial health is a positive step in bringing stability to the state's year-long energy crisis.

"While the same forces and regulatory failures created the financial crisis for Edison and PG&E, the companies are now in different situations. PG&E's Plan of Reorganization is the best and fastest way to resolve our creditor issues, without seeking a rate increase from our customers.

"While we have not had time to fully analyze this settlement, the framework as described by the CPUC appears to be remarkably similar to the Rate Stabilization Plan which PG&E and Edison proposed to the Commission back in November 2000, giving rise to obvious questions about why the CPUC couldn't have agreed to this framework 11 months ago.

"Since that time, the CPUC has been saying that it could not possibly do exactly what it agreed to do today. In the meantime, California's two largest utilities have been stripped of their credit ratings, the state began buying power at inflated prices, millions of our customers suffered days of power outages, and the state's economy has been damaged.

"The relative ease with which this agreement appears to have been reached in the past few days suggests that the upheaval and damage of the past year might have been avoided."