Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
PG&E Subject of Wide-Ranging CPUC General Rate Investigation
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the proponent of Proposition 16 that failed in the June primary election and opponent of California Public Utilities Commission authority to regulate the truthfulness of PG&E advertising content, will be subject to an wide-ranging investigation by CPUC into PG&E revenue from power consumers, rates, operations, practices, services, and facilities. The top-to-bottom investigation will be consolidated with PG&E's general rate case application A0912020, and is designed to potentially reach orders in the public interest beyond what PG&E requested in A0912020.
PG&E's Proposition 16 potentially had the effect of negating San Diego voter rights as to the City's electricity franchise with San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E). CPUC issued warnings to PG&E regarding the truthfulness of PG&E advertising regarding municipal power options not offered by PG&E and other investor owned utilities. PG&E claims that CPUC cannot regulate its advertising content unless it also regulates the advertising content of municipal power companies. Even then, PG&E claims it has freedom of speech until it is found guilty of unfair competition in a California Superior Court.
During its Proposition 16 advertising blitz, PG&E repeatedly claimed that California voters had no voting rights regarding municipal power options unless passing Proposition 16's two-thirds majority voter provisions, continuously ignoring the terms of the 1970 San Diego electricity franchise agreement in which local voters have the simple majority right to alter or even terminate the local agreement with SDG&E.