Anxiety Increases Among Southern California Businesses Over Rate Hike Plan

Region's Economy Hinges Upon CPUC Decision on Rate Increase Structure



Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from California Alliance for Energy & Economic Stability

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California
 businesses today heightened their watch of the California Public Utilities
 Commission as it prepares to present its final decision on a rate increase
 proposal within the next three weeks, said the California Alliance for Energy
 & Economic Stability.
     According to the Alliance, the rate increase structure ultimately set
 forth by the commission could mean future stability for the region's
 businesses or set off an economic meltdown throughout California.
     The Alliance is advocating a solution that shares the burden of any rate
 increase equally among users, with protection for those most in need.
     "Businesses in California are ready to share in a rate increase plan,
 which will be necessary," said Jack Stewart, president of the California
 Manufacturers & Technology Association, an Alliance member.  "But an
 inequitable rate increase that disproportionately hits California's major
 employers will be disastrous for the state's economy."
     Stewart and other Alliance members pointed to real stories from California
 businesses who feel the power crunch directly and whose operations are already
 suffering.  For example, this report is from Inland Empire's TAMCO Steel,
 which employs 350 employees at its Rancho Cucamonga plant:
 
           "TAMCO has already lost 10% of its production this year due to
           scheduled and unscheduled blackouts.
 
           "Approximately one-third of TAMCO's operating costs are spent on
           electricity, since steel-making is an energy intensive industry.  If
           rates increase by 40-70%, as they would under the rate increase plan
           proposed in March, electricity could approach 50% of the company's
           entire operating costs.
 
           "Competition in the steel industry is fierce, so the company cannot
           raise prices.  TAMCO was considering expansion in California, but
           now is evaluating whether to move forward with its expansion plans
           in the state."
 
     Interested parties, including the Alliance, will file comments next Monday
 with the CPUC regarding recent hearings over the proposed rate increase.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X49453772
 
 

SOURCE California Alliance for Energy & Economic Stability
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California
 businesses today heightened their watch of the California Public Utilities
 Commission as it prepares to present its final decision on a rate increase
 proposal within the next three weeks, said the California Alliance for Energy
 & Economic Stability.
     According to the Alliance, the rate increase structure ultimately set
 forth by the commission could mean future stability for the region's
 businesses or set off an economic meltdown throughout California.
     The Alliance is advocating a solution that shares the burden of any rate
 increase equally among users, with protection for those most in need.
     "Businesses in California are ready to share in a rate increase plan,
 which will be necessary," said Jack Stewart, president of the California
 Manufacturers & Technology Association, an Alliance member.  "But an
 inequitable rate increase that disproportionately hits California's major
 employers will be disastrous for the state's economy."
     Stewart and other Alliance members pointed to real stories from California
 businesses who feel the power crunch directly and whose operations are already
 suffering.  For example, this report is from Inland Empire's TAMCO Steel,
 which employs 350 employees at its Rancho Cucamonga plant:
 
           "TAMCO has already lost 10% of its production this year due to
           scheduled and unscheduled blackouts.
 
           "Approximately one-third of TAMCO's operating costs are spent on
           electricity, since steel-making is an energy intensive industry.  If
           rates increase by 40-70%, as they would under the rate increase plan
           proposed in March, electricity could approach 50% of the company's
           entire operating costs.
 
           "Competition in the steel industry is fierce, so the company cannot
           raise prices.  TAMCO was considering expansion in California, but
           now is evaluating whether to move forward with its expansion plans
           in the state."
 
     Interested parties, including the Alliance, will file comments next Monday
 with the CPUC regarding recent hearings over the proposed rate increase.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X49453772
 
 SOURCE  California Alliance for Energy & Economic Stability