Groups will unveil its own plan to solve energy crisis

The Associated Press
Tuesday February 13, 2001

LOS ANGELES — A set of advocacy groups that have their own stake in the state’s power crisis will unveil a 13-point plan Tuesday aimed at preventing rate increases for lower income customers and creating a public power authority for the wholesale market. 

The coalition of environmental groups, consumer advocates and unions that have complained about being left out of negotiations said the state’s three largest utilities should be saved from bankruptcy. 

The groups, which include the Sierra Club and The Utility Reform Network, were brought together by the California Labor Federation. 

The plan’s recommendations were drafted over the last two weeks.  

One of the ideas listed in the plan proposes a three-tiered rate system with a low-cost base rate, a higher tier for consumption above the base, and a third rate for excessive consumption. 

The coalition also recommends the California Public Utilities Commission inspect power plants to ensure they are properly maintained. Many plants currently don’t fall under the PUC’s jurisdiction. 

“Corporate interests seek to capitalize on a crisis mentality to weaken labor and environmental protections,” the groups said. “Workers and the environment should not bear the burden of repairing the damage caused by corporate greed and mismanagement.”