PG&E's Monopolistic Efforts to Block Choice, Local Control, Climate Protection

PG&E sold its monopoly to ratepayers in 1996 when it received over $10 Billion in ratepayer "stranded costs" bailouts for the privilege of customer choice. It received a second $11 Billion ratepayer bailout to take it out of bankruptcy in 2003. Given that PG&E's book value at the time was $23 Billion, ratepayers have literally paid the corporation its value in bailouts - not even including all the rate increases that continue to this day. With Prop 16, PG&E would have taken that monopoly back, free of charge. Faced by efforts of San Francisco, Marin County, and dozens of municipalities in Northern California to offer their residents and businesses energy choices to which they are entitled by state law, PG&E spent $46.5M to block them as the sole funder of Proposition 16. With billions of dollars of ratepayer bailout funds to play with, the nation's ratepayer bailout king used it to try and fool California voters by painting their Monopoly Protection Act in the rhetoric of taxpayer protection.

As the newspaper articles below discuss in detail, Prop 16 tested the raw power of money to buy the vote in California, and will also tested the political power of one of America's largest energy corporations to block all competitors and alternative energy sources, and re-establish itself as a fossil/nuclear monopoly throughout Northern California - by literally re-enshrining its monopoly in the state constitution. Below are Links to articles by national news media publications like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Fast Company as well as local newspapers that have been observing PG&E's fight against green power, like San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

 

AROUND ELECTION TIME

"'Democracy hijacked' as California goes to polls," Agence France-Presse/Inquirer Global Nation article by Rob Wollard (June 6, 2010)

"Corporate Psychopath: PG&E’s RoboCorp Attack on California," Local Power Blog blog by Paul Fenn (June 3, 2010)

"Dan Morain: PG&E earns return on its investment," Sacramento Bee article by Dan Morain (June 3, 2010)

"Shock and awful: behind PG&E's plans to unplug Community Choice once and for all," Pacific Sun article by Peter Seidman (June 1, 2010)

"Erin Brockvich's Daughter on Prop. 16: PG&E Abuses Power to Create Monopoly," The Daily Californian opinion by Katie Brown (June 1, 2010)

"PG&E Shareholders Apologize for Prop ," PG&E Shareholders press release (May 28, 2010)

"Beating the reaper -- S.F.'s clean energy program clears a key milestone in its race against Prop. 16," San Francisco Bay Guardian article by Rebecca Bowe (May 25, 2010)

"Propositions 16 and 17 corporate power grabs," Modesto Progressive Examiner opinion by Patrick Patterson (May 26, 2010)

"LA Sketchbook: PG&E and Prop. 16," LA Observed article and editorial cartoon by Kevin Roderick and Steve Greenberg (May 25, 2010)

"Opinion: PUC head: Reject Prop 16's outrageous bid for monopoly power," San Jose Mercury News opinion by Michael R. Peevey, President, California Public Utilities Commission (May 23, 2010)

"Corporate Bucks Behind 'Citizens' Initiatives In Calif. ," National Public Radio story by Ina Jaffe (May 24, 2010)

"Prop. 16: David v Goliath," Times-Herald (Solano & Napa) opinion by Michael J. McCoy (May 24, 2010)

"Asymmetrical warfare rules in initiative campaigns," Capitol Weekly article by Malcolm Maclachlan (May 20, 2010)

"Herdt: Prop. 16 returns PG&E to 'bad old days'," Ventura County Star article by Timm Herdt (May 19, 2010)

"PG&E's Audacious Attempt to Enshrine Its Energy Monopoly In the California Constitution," Alternet article by Yasha Levine (May 18, 2010)

"PG&E’s style of doing business: Break the rules & then apologize," Manteca Bulletin article by Dennis Wyatt (May 17, 2010)

"Measure’s money comes from PG&E: New power agencies would be hard to form," San Diego Union Tribune article by Jason Dearen (May 17, 2010)

"PG&E spends $30 million and counting to pass Prop. 16," Sacramento Bee article by Mark Glover (May 15, 2010)

"Wil Hunter: PG&E's Prop. 16 is deceptive," Merced Sun-Star opinion by Wil Hunter (May 15, 2010)

"PG&E threatened with fines over Marin Clean Energy 'opt out' letter," Marin Independent Journal article by Richard Halstead (May 14, 2010)

"Utilities do battle on California Ballot," Wall Street Journal article by Rebecca Smith (May 3, 2010)

"As We See It: Vote no on Prop. 16: choice over monopoly," Santa Cruz Sentinel Editorial (May 9, 2010)

"Legislation that made Marin Clean Energy possible emerged from chaos of deregulation," Marin Independent Journal article by Richard Halstead (May 5, 2010)

"Pioneer public power program launches in Marin," San Francisco Chronicle article by David Baker (May 7, 2010)

"Power Play: PG&E Charges Up to Fight Off Rolling Customer Revolts," California Lawyer article by Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Katherine Ellison (May, 2010)

"Vote no on PG&E's sham initiative," The Record Searchlight editorial (May 9, 2010)

"PG&E's Proposition 16 undermines communities," Napa Valley Register article by Chris Craiker (May 8, 2010)

"Is California's Proposition 16 a PG&E Power Grab?," Treehugger article by Bonnie Hulkower (May 9, 2010)

"Prop. 16 is Pacific Gas & Electric's ploy for more profit," The Desert Sun opinion by Will Osborn and Bermuda Dunes (May 9, 2010)

"Say ‘no’ to manipulative Proposition 16," Napa Valley Register article by Ritchie Austin (May 7, 2010)

"No! on Proposition 16," Topanga Messenger article by Woody Hastings (May 6, 2010)

"California Needs The FCC To Restore The Fairness Doctrine ," California Progress Report article by Roy Ulrich and Richard Holober (May 6, 2010)

"Our View: Prop. 16 - the right to vote NO ," Pasadena Star-News Editorial (May 5, 2010)

"Prop 16: A PG&E Power Grab or Taxpayer Protection?," New America Media article by Anja Seth (May 5, 2010)

"PG&E Slammed for Illegal Efforts to Stifle Competition: California Public Utilities Commission warns utility company's actions are illegal," NBC Bay Area article by Jackson West (May 4, 2010)

"P.G.&E. in Hot Water With Public Utilities Commission," The New York Times article by Katharine Mieszkowski (May 4, 2010)

"PG&E's campaign tactics are illegal, California regulators warn: Pacific Gas & Electric is told to stop using phone and direct-mail tactics that could derail competition from the state's first nonprofit group to offer electric service.," Los Angeles Times article by Marc Lifsher (May 4, 2010)

"Woodland City Council opposes PG&E's Prop. 16: Soon-to-be-mayor Pimentel believes utility wants stranglehold on Woodland, Yolo County," Woodland Daily Democrat article by James Noonan (May 6, 2010)

"Prop. 16 isn't about taxpayers, it's about profits," Bakersfield Californian Editorial (May 4, 2010)

"Here’s a shocker: CPUC says PG&E isn’t playing by the rules in Marin ," Manteca Bulletin article by Dennis Wyatt (May 4, 2010)

"Utility warned about violating rules on Community Choice," Sunpluggers article by Michael Balchunas (May 4, 2010)

"Prop 16 Could Turn the Light Out on California Energy Market," California Independent Voter Network article by Mytheos Holt (May 3, 2010)

"Herhold: Vote No on Proposition 16," San Jose Mercury News Column by Scott Herhold (May 2, 2010)

APRIL

"PG&E strategy: exploit voter angst to pass Prop 16 under 'voter's rights' guise," California Progress Report article by Dan Aiello (April 15, 2010)

"Power outrage - PG&E’s Proposition 16 would protect the company from public-power rivals Sacramento News & Review article by Cosmo Garvin (April 15, 2010)

"PG&E's Energy Empire," Mother Jones article by Taylor Wiles (April 14, 2010)

"MORAIN: PG&E: From bankruptcy to bully Utility is bankrolling initiative to keep competitors off its turf," Modesto Bee Opinion by Dan Morain (April 14, 2010)

"Regulators Slap PG&E on the Wrist: California Public Utilities Commission puts stop to some "hardball" tactics," NBC Bay Area report by Jackson West (April 12, 2010)

"Proposition 16 is no bargain for Californians," Gustine Press Standard article by Bill Mattos (April 13, 2010)

"Central Valley PG&E Competitor Generating Money," The Manteca Bulletin article by Dennis Wyatt (April 12, 2010)

"Dan Morain: PG&E flips the switch on a ballot power play," Sacramento Bee opinion by Bee Senior Editor Dan Morain (April 11, 2010)

"PG&E is paying good money for its endorsements," Sacramento Bee blog post by Bee Senior Editor Dan Morain (April 11, 2010)

"Calif regulators issue new rules on public power," San Jose Mercury News article by Jason Dearen (April 9, 2010)

"PG&E proxy filing reveals corner-cutting effort to feed Darbee's compensation gluttony," PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet Blog post by former California Energy Commissioner John Gessman (April 4, 2010)

"PG&E must stop threats to public power agencies," San Francisco Chronicle article by David Baker (April 8, 2010)

"PG&E told to stop contacting Marin energy customers," Marin Independent Journal article by Mark Prado (April 8, 2010)

"CPUC reins in PG&E's advertising blitz in Marin," KGO-TV 7 ABC story by Heather Ishimaru (April 8, 2010)

"Pacific Gas and Electric powers Proposition 16," The California Aggie, Davis article by Michael Stepanoc (April 8, 2010)

"Power to PG&E: Firm turns initative process into way to protect their profits," The Manteca Bulletin article by Dennis Wyatt (April 8, 2010)

"Power Mad: Orwell fans take note: PG&E's war on public utilities goes to ballot as the 'Right to Vote Act,'" North Bay Bohemian cover story by Kylie Mendonca (April 1, 2010)

"Democracy and Its Foes: from the Legislature to PG&E," Pacific Free Press story by Norman Solomon (April 1, 2010)

LATE MARCH

"The Shame of Proposition 16," PublicCEO article by Richmond City Councilmember Tom Butt (March 31, 2010)

"CA Prop. 16: PG&E and the Buying of Democracy," Daily Kos blog (March 23, 2010)

"EDITORIAL: CCA: Get it done by the deadline," by the San Francisco Bay Guardian (March 30, 2010)

"Public utilities sue to disqualify Prop. 16," Merced Sun-Star report (March 29, 2010)

"Cities’ Suit May Clarify Potential Impact of Proposition 16 on Central Valley Irrigation District's Plan to Provide Electric Service," Press Release by the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (March 20, 2010)

"Several Energy Experts Call on the CPUC to Demand PG&E Return of Ratepayer Money to Rightful Owners: Central Valley Irrigation District Vows to Make Its Case in PG&E’s CPUC General Rate Case Proceeding," Press Release by the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (March 19, 2010)

"Deadline looms for San Francisco’s green power program,"San Francisco Bay Guardian article by Rebecca Bowe (March 29, 2010)

"David vs. Goliath in the Energy Revolution - The War for Renewables Has Begun," GetRealList article by Chris Nelder (March 26, 2010)

"You Are Now Paying for the Next 3 Mile Island," Solve Climate article by author and historian Harvey Wasserman (March 29, 2010)

"Darbee's Shaky Finger on the Trigger of PG&E's Rate Design Begins to Terrify the Customers" PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet blog by former Caliornia Energy Commissioner John Geesman (March 28, 2010)

"PG&E's Prop 16: Stalking Horse for Monopoly's Higher Rates?" Pacific Sun opinion by Ed Mainland (March 28, 2010)

"Why greens oppose Prop 16," Santa Rosa Press Democrat article by Pete Golis (March 27, 2010)

"Prop 16 is June's priciest ballot initiative, with PG&E coughing up big money," Santa Cruz Sentinel article by Kurtis Alexander (March 25, 2010)

"Calif Officials Blast PG&E Move To Sideline Competition," Wall Street Journal article by Cassandra Sweet (March 24, 2010)

 

MID-MARCH

"MERCURY NEWS EDITORIAL: Vote no on Prop. 16" by The San Jose Mercury News (March 20, 2010)

"GOLIS: Proposition 16, the $35 million question," Santa Rosa Press Democrat article by Pete Golis (March 21, 2010)

"S.F. sues over PG&E-backed ballot measure," San Francisco Chronicle article by Bob Egelko (March 19, 2010)

"PUC listens to Proposition 16 debate," San Francisco Chronicle article by David R. Baker (March 18, 2010)

"Prop. 16, bankrolled by PG&E, subject of lively debate," San Jose Mercury News article by Dana Hull (March 18, 2010)

"Merced Irrigation District joins suit seeking to stop Proposition 16," Merced Sun-Star article by Danielle E. Gaines (March 18, 2010)

"Suit seeks to have Proposition 16 taken off ballot," San Francisco Chronicle article by Associated Press (March 18, 2010)

"Race to start SF power provider begins," San Francisco Examiner article by John Upton (March 17, 2010)

"Healdsburg opposes Prop. 16 power intiative," Santa Rosa Press Democrat article by Clark Mason (March 16, 2010)

"PG&E boss: Prop 16 all about the shareholders," Sacramento News & Review blog by Cosmo Garvin (March 15, 2010)

"Marin Energy Authority files complaint against PG&E," North Bay Business Journal article by Jenna V. Loceff (March 12, 2010)

 

EARLY MARCH

"Top PG&E executive gets $9.4M in 2009 compensation," Business Week article (March 8, 2010)

"The PG$E power-grab initiative," Sierra Club Yodeler article by Al Weinrub (March 8, 2010)

"Does PG&E Fully Understand the Recklessness of Peter Darbee's Proposition 16 Gamble?," PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet article by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman (March 7, 2010)

"Board Grills PG&E, Moves Forward with Election Question - Supervisors Will Ask Voters Whether to Look for PG&E Alternatives," ABC News 23, Bakersfield article and video (March 9, 2010)

"Municipal utility vote set for November," iStockAnalyst article by James Burger (March 9, 2010)

"Vote no on Proposition 16 - PG&E's attack on competition," Sierra Club Yodeler article by John Rizzo (March 6, 2010)

"Keep corporations out of government power choice," Sacramento State Hornet article by Julia Baum (March 3, 2010)

 

FEBRUARY

"PG&E alert: Join the campaign to fight the PG&E's Prop 16 attack on public power and community choice aggregation,"San Francisco Bay Guardian article by Bruce Brugman (February 25, 2010)

"PG&E has long history of battling competitors," Fresno Bee article by Dan Walters (February 25, 2010)

"Ballot initiative may alter power business - Public utilities critical of effort funded by PG&E," Stockton Record article by Daniel Thigpen (February 26, 2010)

"Peter Darbee's Dog of an Initiative: 3 Tapeworms Eating Away at the Internal Logic of Prop 16," PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet article by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman (February 25, 2010)

"Editorial: Initiative process just as infected by money as the rest of politics," San Jose Mercury News (February 20, 2010)

"PG&E Expects to Spend Up to $35 Million on Ballot Initiative," Business Week article by Mark Chediak (February 19, 2010)

"Mayor Bates Shoves Protester During PG&E Prop 16 Advisory Meeting," Fog City Journal article by Luke Thomas (February 19, 2010)

"Prop 16: Worst Measure on June Ballot," Los Angeles City Watch article by Paul Hogarth (February 17, 2010)

"Public power backers cry foul over utility effort," Associated Press article by Jason Dearen (February 15, 2010)

"PG&E funding Prop. 16 to keep its stranglehold," Fresno Bee column by Bill McEwen (February 13, 2010)

"Prop 16 is Worst Measure on June Ballot," East (San Diego) County Magazine article (February 17, 2010)

"Prop 16 is Worst Measure on June Ballot," Beyond Chron column by Paul Hogarth (February 16, 2010)

"PG & E amps up bid for power," Los Angeles Times column by Michael Hiltzik (February 10, 2010)

"The Protect PG&E's Gold Mine Act," The Manteca Bulletin column by Dennis Wyatt (February 10, 2010)

"Money Starts to Flow for Initiatives," Fox & Hounds Daily article by John Wildermuth (February 10, 2010)

"Marin County kicks PG&E to the curb," abc7news.com article by Lilian Kim (February 4, 2010)

"Why PG&E fears SSJID as well as Marin County," Manteca Bulletin article by Dennis Wyatt, Managing Editor (February 5, 2010)

"Palo Alto votes to oppose PG&E-backed ballot measure," San Jose Mercury News article by Will Oremus (February 4, 2010)

"PG&E vs. democracy," Sacramento News & Review Op Ed by Cosmo Garvin (February 4, 2010)

"Marin County to provide power, oust PG&E," San Francisco Chronicle article by David R. Baker (February 4, 2010)

"PG&E kicks press out of debate"San Francisco Bay Guardian article by Brady Welch (February 3, 2010)

"PG&E kicks reporter out of Prop 16 debate"Sacramento News & Review article by Cosmo Garvin (February 5, 2010)

"If it looks like a monopoly, smells like a monopoly, and acts like a greedy P O S, then it must be a monopoly. Seems like PG&E dosent want to let others buy cheaper power from anyone. "San Jose Mercury News reader comments on article by Dana Hull (February 1, 2010)

JANUARY

 

"PG&E spending millions to block local utilities"San Jose Mercury News article by Dana Hull (January 31, 2010)

"Upfront: Will Marin flip the switch? - PG&E gets down and dirty in attempts to thwart Marin Clean Energy," Pacific Sun article by Peter Seidman (January 29, 2010)

"EDITORIAL: PG&E makes a new power grab: Innocuous-sounding initiative would amend constitution to protect utility's monopoly" iStockAnalyst and Merced Sun-Star (Jan 20, 2009)

"Community Bids to Bypass Utilities Facing Hurdles in Calif."New York Times article by Debra Kahn (January 7, 2010)

"Indict PG&E" San Francisco Bay Guardian Editorial (Jan 12, 2010)

"San Francisco City Attorney Slams PG&E: Argues utility monopoly using your money to try to stifle competition"NBC Bay Area (Jan 12, 2010)

"Measure would protect PG&E, not taxpayers"Redding Record-Searchlight  Editorial (Jan 16, 2010)

DECEMBER

 

"PG&E ballot measure is a stealthy power play:" Los Angeles Times column by Michael Hiltzik (Dec 28, 2009)

"Monopoly Money - Can One Utility Block Marin's Climate Protection Efforts?" by Juliane Poirier (MetroActive - San Jose, New Bohemian - Oct 21, 2009)

"How to Earn a Black Eye: PG&E's Orwellian Misnomer" (San Diego Daily Transcript - Oct 8, 2009)

"Mirkarimi Warns Northern California Power Authority Against Monopoly-Protecting Ballot Initiative" (Fog City Journal - Sep 24, 2009)

"PG&E backs measure to tighten grip on cities" (San Francisco Chronicle - August 18, 2009)

 

 

or any other official political action or campaign committees related to Prop 16 or other ballot initiatives.