April 3, 2001
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today ordered an investigation into whether Edison International and PG&E Corp have met their financial obligations to their regulated subsidiaries, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, relative to utility "undercollection" debt. Edison Senior Vice President Thomas Higgins' response follows.
ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 3, 2001--At this time, the principal focus of the CPUC should be taking steps to restore creditworthiness for California utilities so that they can build, maintain, and operate a reliable electric system.
Today's commission actions go in the wrong direction, increasing the risk that the state itself, which has no experience or expertise, will go deeper into taking over utility functions and building a bureaucracy that will spend billions of dollars.
The commission's order Instituting Investigation concerning affiliate transactions between SCE and its holding company is unnecessary and redundant with previous audits. The order on interruptibles is an unfunded mandate. And the order allocating resources to the California Department of Water Resources will add further to the undercollection that has destroyed our creditworthiness.
# # #
An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.