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A ballot initiative being pushed by a longtime anti-nuclear power activist would spell the end of the reign of San Diego Gas & Electric and other private-investor-owned utilities in the state of California if enacted next year by voters.

Ben Davis, who has in the past introduced unsuccessful measures that would effectively ban nuclear energy in the state, has until next April to gather just under 366,000 signatures to put before voters a plan to launch the California Electrical Utility District. The mega-utility would take over electrical generation and distribution in the portions of the state not already served by public utilities.

Existing municipal utility districts such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) would have the option to join or work collaboratively with the proposed statewide entity, which would replace SDG&E and other investor-owned outfits, including Pacific Gas & Electric and SoCal Edison, which controls San Diego's now-defunct San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, co-owned by SDG&E.

Davis, a former SMUD advisory board member, says public utilities nationwide have rates about 15 percent lower than those run by for-profit entities. SMUD's rates, he notes, are 25 percent lower than the statewide average in investor-controlled territory like San Diego, which has some of the highest energy costs in the nation and produces industry-leading profits for SDG&E parent Sempra Energy.

In addition to lower prices, Davis promises the elimination of the investor-held operations would put to rest a series of scandals plaguing the industry's oversight panel.

If enacted, the new district would be endowed with the power of eminent domain to acquire power generation and transmission equipment as needed from the private sector.

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Comments

CaptD Nov. 6, 2015 @ 2:17 p.m.

You can just imagine how much ratepayer money the Big Utilities can throw at defeating this, since they would just say it is part of doing business and the CPUC would of course agree.

RIGGED Our Energy system I$ & RIGGED Our Energy System Will Stay, at least until ratepayers realize that they are being ripped off every month, despite what they are told by elected Leaders that are taking massive donations to "look the other way."

If everyone affected by #SanOnofreGate * would not only sign the ballot but also donate a buck to Aguirre & Severson, they might each save themselves about $1,600.00 A&S are working hard to reverse the illegal settlement that the CPUC and SCE agreed to behind closed doors in Austria, long before the CPUC ever held Settlement "public hearings" that we now know were nothing more than just Dog & Pony shows to appease ratepayers .

* The new hashtag that will allow you to keep up to date on the ongoing investigation into the multi-billion $ SCE-CPUC ripoff.

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AlexClarke Nov. 7, 2015 @ 12:17 p.m.

IID (Imperial Irrigation District) is ratepayer owned. They have one rate for electricity. No tiers, no summer/winter or shoulder rates (like SCE). They provide good service and good jobs and their rates are 40% less than Sempra et. al.

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Visduh Nov. 8, 2015 @ 9:35 a.m.

This idea sounds good until it is closely examined. In many states where there is less corruption and a better-informed electorate it is possible for publicly-owned utilities to operate efficiently and honestly. When that's true, rates can and should be lower. But here in California, we have one major governmental public utility, the L A Department of Water and Power. For decades now, it has been mired in corruption, and the unions ride roughshod over the taxpayers. No matter how the city government has tried to bring the DWP to heel, it is still beyond the control of the city council and "strong" mayor.

If this state cannot have an honest and above-board utility regulatory board, how can it expect to have most of the electrical generation in the hands of a board of directors, undoubtedly appointed by the governor, run anything better? The answer is that it cannot. If more cities and counties decide to take over the electrical service within their boundaries, that might be the best approach. In other words, smaller operations, not some too-big-to-control state agency.

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