From: "Kavi, Prabhu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 11:06:07 -0500
Uh, PG&E does buy power at the market. They are simply
not allowed to sell power at the market price, which is
the root cause of the problem.
Deregulation tends to work when both sides are fully
deregulated (buying and selling). Crimping the
creation of new power plants and being forced to sell
essentially unlimited amounts of power at a nearly
fixed price caused this mess. Blame the environmentalists
and politicians, not PG&E.
No, blame PG&E (and So. Cal. Edison), at least in part.
PG&E made a bet that energy prices would not increase dramatically
before 2002. PG&E proposed the price freeze with the notion that
competition among suppliers would bring down prices and they would
continue to sell at the old rates, raking in excellent profits.
PG&E lost, big time, when the poorly designed electrical market in the
western states ended up charging massively increased prices which PG&E
and they were locked into their freeze commitment.
Once again, the freeze was proposed by PG&E. They made their bed.
It is, of course, vastly more complicated than this. The deal also
included bonds to pay off existing capital debts and a requirement
that PG&E get out of the power generation business. (PG&E proposed
these, too.) At the time it looked like a super-sweetheart deal for
the power companies. Time has shown otherwise. But they knew what they
were doing and they lost.
Speaking only for myself,
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: +1 510 486-8634