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Californian's are paying for new PG&E investments, not power crisis
by Partytown Streaming Network - Jez (admin [at] partytown.com)
Tuesday Jan 23rd, 2001 5:00 AM
Expose on what PG&E is really up to, investing in outside projects instead of California energy production.
While the current \"energy crisis\" looms on for Californian\'s, many still question the real reason behind the hype. Most all of the media reports focus on the superficial aspects of this serious issue, only alternative news sources are digging deeper to reveal the true story.

Let\'s start with the actual people behind the smokescreen, the top executives. The CEO & Chairman of the Board of PG&E Company (a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation) and a Senior Vice President of PG&E Corp. is Gordon R. Smith, a career PG&E executive since he graduated from college. He also serves as an Advisory Board member of Dreyfus Edison Electric Index Fund Industry, which owns shares in both PG&E and Southern California Edison (both claiming financial trouble) and is on the Finance committee of the Edison Electric Institute. It seems as though maybe Smith may not be performing up to par in his positions with the energy powerhouses, we can pretty much assume his neighborhood has not experienced any \"rolling blackouts\".

Another executive who\'s neighborhood most likely won\'t ever experience \"rolling blackouts\" is Chief Executive Officer and President of PG&E Corp., Robert D. Glynn Jr. In his presentation at the Annual Shareholders Meeting April 19, 2000 in Boston, Mass, he reaffirmed PG&E\'s financial strength when just days before PG&E agreed to spend millions on a new telecommunications company. According to an article in The Standard on April 13, 2000, \"Twelve petroleum and natural gas companies [including PG&E] announced Wednesday that they would buy a combined 30 percent stake in a new telecommunications company, Aerie Networks.
The new company plans to build a fiber optic network with the highest capacity in the U.S. Along with the $150 million equity stake, Aerie gets the right to piggyback its fiber on the energy firms\' pipelines.\" This is a 3.5 billion dollar project, and instead of making Aerie pay for the right of way to lay fiber piggybacked on the pipelines, PG&E is paying millions to buy into the telecom company.

Back to the 1999 Shareholders meeting. Glynn reported to stockholders that \"Earnings from operations increased by 15 percent in 1999 on top of 12 percent growth in 1998. Total net income from operations grew by 11 percent.The National Energy Group [parent company to PG&E] increased its earnings from operations by 42 percent in 1999, following a strong year in 1998. Pacific Gas and Electric Company increased its earnings from operations by 14 percent\". The question one might ask next is, \"How can they be financially unstable if the were seeing so much growth?\". The answer may lie in their increased spending habits in early 2000.

Glynn goes on to praise the companies future endeavors, talking about some of the projects underway with the National Energy Group.
In Massachusetts, construction continued on the Millennium Power Project, a 360-megawatt natural gas-fueled plant. In Connecticut, they broke ground on the Lake Road Generating Plant, a 792-megawatt natural gas-fueled plant, scheduled for operation in 2001. In New York they broke ground for the Madison Windpower Project - which will be the largest wind generating facility in the Eastern United States and will be identified with the registered trademark of \"Pure Wind\". Only one mention of growth in the California market which was in reference to a 1,048 megawatt natural gas fueled generating plant in Kern County scheduled for operation in 2001. Glynn also announced the Corporation was joining with 11 other energy companies to build what will be the country\'s largest fiber optic telecommunications network. He also mentioned that Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the National Energy Group have joined a consortium of 15 energy companies to establish a new Internet-based business-to-business platform for buyers and sellers of goods and services.

The future of the year 2000 and beyond was also painted very brightly, Glynn committed to delivering 8 to 10 percent annual earnings per share growth going forward and planned to generate 30 percent or more of these earnings from the National Energy Group by 2002.

Now all of this doesn\'t sound like it\'s coming from a company that is facing the possibility of bankruptcy does it? These men need to face the music, sell off some of their $30 billion in assets and provide the public with reasonable and reliable energy service. The public needs to take these men and other members of the board to task and put faces and names to this dire situation. Gordon Smith and Robert Glynn need to be held accountable for the mess they have gotten California into. They should be prosecuted for extorting increased rates from the public under false pretenses. There isn\'t a shortage of energy in California, there is a shortage of solvent reliable energy companies due to improper financial planning and spending. Put the blame where it\'s most deserved, in the laps of the men who are directly affecting the situation.

It\'s not difficult to read between the lines. It appears that the energy companies overspent on outside investments last year, and are using rate hikes and a false energy crisis in hopes that the public bail them out. When you pay your top executive over 2 million dollars a year, you would expect better management of the fiscal interests of the company.

According to an article by Public Citizen (http://www.citizen.org) California power demands during 4 out of the past 6 months was actually lower than during the same period in 1999, indicating that California\'s power producers are misrepresenting the facts about energy demands in order to justify gouging the state\'s utilities.
Data from the California Independent System Operator shows that July, August, October and December of 2000, the state saw a lower peak demand than during those same months in 1999. Since there hasn\'t been an increase in energy demand, the major contributor to the crisis according to Public Citizen is that plants servicing California with 11,000 megawatts of capacity have been taken out of service for a variety of reasons, most undisclosed. This creates a false crisis in which power producers can convince customers to pay higher rates to encourage construction of new power plants to meet the alleged higher demand. Power producers will then justify building new plants, attempting to speed up the process by suspending California\'s environment-friendly standards and blocking the ability of communities to oppose new plants.

Bottom line, Californian\'s are going to be footing the bill for poor planning and misrepresentation of a crisis that is non-existant.
by Edison Carter
Tuesday Jan 23rd, 2001 6:10 PM
It should be seen as no coincidence that California, home of the Sierra Club - the most rabid anti-technology luddite movement since the Amish moved into Pennsylvania, is now suffering from power shortages. This is what you get when you care so insanely *more* about owls and trees than you do about people, that you won't let sufficient power plants be built. Where do you think it all comes from, the Electricity Faeries? You expect other states to bear the burden of building power plants because you won't let even a single clean-burning coal plant be built in Kalifornia?

To be sure, corporate greed and collusion with the Public Utilities Commission to accomplish short-sighted price fixing has also contributed greatly to this problem. But let's give credit everywhere that credit is due. Corporate and govt evil is only part of the problem - environmental extremism has also contributed greatly.

Hope you still enjoy that lovely skyline and sunset.. as the power goes out and your home freezes overnight. Was the extreme paranoia worth it?

(Funny thing is, Im sure I'll be blasted now as some Republican or corporate sympathizer. If only you fools knew..)

-Edison
by Not a Fool
Wednesday Jan 24th, 2001 7:18 AM
I don't think we are fools, and I don't think you really are seeing the big picture. PG&E last year was praising growth, and now all of a sudden they are talking about bankruptcy. The people of California are not to blame for this inflated energy "crisis". The power producers decided not to invest in the future of California's energy demand. Power plants have been built all over the state in the past 10 years, but due to poor planning and upkeep many of them are "offline".

The fact is there is plenty of power available, PG&E is creating a false crisis to increase their profits by
increasing customer utility bills exponentially. I am sure if you had your utility bill increase by a thousand percent in the past couple months when you haven't used any more power than last year you would have a different perspective.

The article that has been published is straight from the horses mouths, top executives not even a year ago touting great increases in their earnings, while at the same time claiming bankruptcy. Don't you see that there is something very wrong here?

Seems to me you may be fooling yourself.
by Jose Que Public
Wednesday Jan 24th, 2001 7:41 AM
Sounds like Edison has been listening to too much Rush lintball.
Thats the same kind of ignorant rantings that he's been spewing.

Hmm... being a Californian, I don't recall environmentalists stopping any power plants from being built. Maybe trying to save some old growth natural resources that are irreplaceable, but haven't heard squat about preventing new power generation.

My advice would be to stop listening to Rush, he's damaging your braincells.

Oh,... and you said it not me about being a Republican Corporate sympathizer...you .sure sound like one.
by America_1
(America_1 [at] email.com) Friday Feb 2nd, 2001 9:41 PM
Misleading shareholders and the public, manipulating facts by publicly traded companies? Seems like a potential SEC investigation.

Bush and pals overstepped and can't wipe it off now; stinks to high heaven.
by East Coaster
Tuesday Dec 3rd, 2002 4:27 AM
I wish you Californians would face reality and stop whining. You forced the electric companies to decide
between being generators of electricity or transmitters of electricity. PG&E sold off its generation to comply with this "deregulation". The NIMBY set prevented any
new generation from being constructed, forcing the
transmission companies to purchase out-of-state electricity. When those outside power producers saw
an chance to gouge California, they took it! I guess there is no love for you in the neighboring states either. When presented with huge rate increases, you whiners capped the electric company's ability to pass
along the costs. So they went bankrupt. Pull your head
out of the sand and pay the piper for your foolishness.....

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