Monday, March 03, 2008

Public Power Wars Heating Up

The public power wars continue to rage on. Sunday's Stockton Record has some background on Stockton's just announced plan to take over for PG&E.

The Record notes the irony of using similar arguments to those that were made five years ago under then Mayor Gary Podesto when Stockon outsourced its water and sewer to a private British company, to support current Mayor Ed Chavez's plan for Stockton to be its own electric utility.

According to the write-up: "So, in Stockton's case, a dispute over Chavez's proposal is almost inevitable. The question isn't whether PG&E would oppose a takeover. The question is whether it would be worth the time, effort and cost."

PG&E's other fight in the South San Joaquin Irrigation District appears to be gaining momentum. The Manteca Bulletin reports:

"More than 1,000 disgruntled PG&E customers signed petitions during the Ripon Almond Blossom Festival asking that the California Public Utilities Commission pressure the for-profit utility to negotiate in good faith with the South San Joaquin Irrigation District.PG&E is refusing to negotiate with SSJID on an offer the 99-year-old agency made to purchase the power distribution system in Manteca, Ripon and Escalon so they could reduce power costs across the board by at least 15 percent."

The Bulletin also breaks down the SSJID offer:

The SSJID offer broken down includes:

  • $48,925,000, which is the appraised value of the electric system determined by R.W. Beck. (SSJID sent PG&E a summary of the thick appraisal.)

  • $1,440,000 for PG&E's actual costs in physically severing the system. SSJID will pay their own costs to reconnect and construct new facilities to separate the two systems.

  • $1,592,000 for a substation impairment fee for the resulting excess capacity PG&E may recognize at the Vierra, Avena and Riverbank substations.

  • $2,661,000 as the value of land, right-of-way and easements associated with specific facilities SSJID is purchasing.

  • $25 million premium to be divided equally between remaining PG&E ratepayers and PG&E shareholders.

A power move [Stockton Record]

1,000 sign in favor of SSJID over PG&E [Manteca Bulletin]