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Attorney General Lockyer Files State Agency Claims in PG&E Bankruptcy
(SAN FRANCISCO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today filed the second round of state agency claims against Pacific Gas & Electric Company in federal bankruptcy court, bringing total payments sought from the utility to over $1 billion.
"These claims are being filed to protect the interests of the people of California," Lockyer said. "PG&E owes the money to more than a dozen state agencies for such things as unpaid taxes and environmental clean-up costs."
Faced with an October 3 deadline for filing claims, state agencies are seeking recovery of some $1.01 billion that include payments to the Department of Toxic Substances Control, regional water quality control boards, Department of Fish and Game, Board of Equalization and Franchise Tax Board. The Department of Water Resources submitted another $258.7 million in claims for energy-related costs. The Department of Water Resources by last week's deadline for other claims sought to recover more than $179 million for energy purchases made on behalf of the utility's customers from the time PG&E filed for bankruptcy on April 6, 2001 to May 31, 2001.
The Attorney General also filed a supplemental petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission, urging federal scrutiny of the transfer of billions of dollars by PG&E to its parent company, PG&E Corp., immediately before the utility declared bankruptcy. The Attorney General urged SEC review under the Public Utility Holding Company Act in light of the bankruptcy reorganization plan submitted by PG&E which seeks to remove further state oversight of utility activities.
In asking for review of the asset transfers, the Attorney General said: "PG&E Corp. seeks to complete this asset grab under cover of the bankruptcy reorganization without any scrutiny from the California PUC or the SEC. The SEC, however, under PUHCA, has an obligation to fully and carefully scrutinize the movement of assets from the utility to the holding company and the change in corporate structure, and must do so with the interests of the utility customers in full focus."