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Attorney General Obtains Temporary Court Protection of Power Supplied to Californians by Pacific Gas & Electric

Thursday, January 25, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SAN FRANCISCO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent Pacific Gas & Electric’s long-term electricity contracts from being canceled and resold by the California Power Exchange.

Superior Court Judge David Garcia in San Francisco issued the order to protect PG&E’s long-term contracts that the utility says would provide hundreds of megawatts to Californians. The next hearing on the matter is set for February 5.

The court order follows similar action Wednesday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe, who granted the preliminary injunction sought by the Attorney General to help preserve the supply of power at current rates for more than 670,000 California homes now served by Southern California Edison. The utility had been facing imminent cancellation of long-term power contracts for failure to make a $215 million payment.

In the San Francisco case, the court was asked to issue a temporary restraining order because the auction or liquidation of PG&E’s block-forward market contracts could worsen the energy shortage in California, which already has prompted a State of Emergency declaration by Governor Davis.

“Although it is not clear what impact the auctioning or liquidation of the block-forward market contracts may have on the emergency situation in the State, given the extremely fragile energy situation in the state, such action may have the detrimental effect of reducing the availability of needed electricity to the citizens of California; result in further disruption of service to Californians; impact the solvency of a utility; or require additional blackout periods,” the Attorney General stated in the PG&E case.

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