Monday, March 10, 2008

SSJID vs. PGE, Contd.

The fight between PG&E and the South San Joaquin Irrigation District barrels on, with a ruling on the PG&E-backed challenge to a San Joaquin Local Agency Formation Commission appellate decision set for next week.

SSJID tipped its plans for moving ahead, saying that a postitive ruling next week requiring PG&E to negotiate in good faith on the $79.6 million offer would end one of two ways, either in actual negotiation or in the drafting of language precedent to an eminent domain action.

If the ruling goes agaist SSJID, the agency is prepared to start building its own redundant utility, from the ground up. The SSJID is confident it can lure customers away from PG&E by offering significantly cheaper rates and this could ultimately leave PG&E with nothing to show for losing its customers in the area.

The claim on lower rates is subtantiated by the 28% reduction that the SSJID-- working as a consultant for the Lathrop Irrigation District-- has been able to put in place for the master planned community, the River Islands at Lathrop. Additionally, the Modesto Bee reports that the SSJID has waved its $24/acre farm water irrigation fee due to "income from power generation and outside sales of conserved water."