Williams Supports Short-Term Regional Price Controls to Help Address California Power Crisis

Chairman Says 'Breathing Room' Needed as State Works Toward Healthy

Electricity Market



Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Williams

    TULSA, Okla., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairman of Williams
 (NYSE:   WMB) said today the company supports short-term regional price controls
 as one measure to help California and other western states address the effects
 of high electricity prices that are being driven by an inability to produce
 enough power to meet demand.
     "Williams is concerned with any form of long-term price control as being
 counter-productive to creating adequate energy supply and efficient pricing.
 This has been true in any market at any time in our history," said Keith E.
 Bailey, chairman, president and chief executive officer.  "But, we also
 recognize this is an extraordinary situation.  We need to help create some
 breathing room over the next year or so to allow the current emergency supply
 initiatives to have a meaningful impact.  We all have to work together, and
 this is the right thing to do.
     "We also believe a rational course of action that seeks new sources of
 supply must be combined with public policy that ensures confidence that
 services provided in the past and future will be paid in full.  It is also
 imperative to design controls in a manner that allows full recovery of costs
 and a return that is commensurate with risk," he said.  "The combination of
 short-term, regional price controls during emergency periods that eventually
 expire at a fixed point in time, along with the elimination of credit risk,
 should provide the market a respite while creating incentive for the private
 sector to invest with confidence."
     Williams markets some 4,000 megawatts of power in California, the majority
 of which was sold in long-term, forward contracts both this year and last.
     Bailey said Williams has net accounts receivable at March 31 for power
 sales to the California Independent System Operator and the California Power
 Exchange of about $252 million, a net increase of approximately $140 million
 from year-end 2000.  "This is consistent with our ongoing commitment to
 continue to serve California markets while we work toward finding equitable
 solutions to the energy crisis," Bailey said.  He said Williams started power
 sales to the Department of Water Resources on April 1 under a long-term
 agreement signed earlier this year.
 
     About Williams
     Williams, through its subsidiaries, connects businesses to energy.  The
 company delivers innovative, reliable products and services.  Williams
 information is available at www.williams.com.
 
     Portions of this document may constitute "forward-looking statements" as
 defined by federal law.  Although the company believes any such statements are
 based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes
 will not be materially different.  Any such statements are made in reliance on
 the "safe harbor" protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act
 of 1995.  Additional information about issues that could lead to material
 changes in performance is contained in the company's annual reports filed with
 the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
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                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X78329317
 
 

SOURCE Williams
    TULSA, Okla., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairman of Williams
 (NYSE:   WMB) said today the company supports short-term regional price controls
 as one measure to help California and other western states address the effects
 of high electricity prices that are being driven by an inability to produce
 enough power to meet demand.
     "Williams is concerned with any form of long-term price control as being
 counter-productive to creating adequate energy supply and efficient pricing.
 This has been true in any market at any time in our history," said Keith E.
 Bailey, chairman, president and chief executive officer.  "But, we also
 recognize this is an extraordinary situation.  We need to help create some
 breathing room over the next year or so to allow the current emergency supply
 initiatives to have a meaningful impact.  We all have to work together, and
 this is the right thing to do.
     "We also believe a rational course of action that seeks new sources of
 supply must be combined with public policy that ensures confidence that
 services provided in the past and future will be paid in full.  It is also
 imperative to design controls in a manner that allows full recovery of costs
 and a return that is commensurate with risk," he said.  "The combination of
 short-term, regional price controls during emergency periods that eventually
 expire at a fixed point in time, along with the elimination of credit risk,
 should provide the market a respite while creating incentive for the private
 sector to invest with confidence."
     Williams markets some 4,000 megawatts of power in California, the majority
 of which was sold in long-term, forward contracts both this year and last.
     Bailey said Williams has net accounts receivable at March 31 for power
 sales to the California Independent System Operator and the California Power
 Exchange of about $252 million, a net increase of approximately $140 million
 from year-end 2000.  "This is consistent with our ongoing commitment to
 continue to serve California markets while we work toward finding equitable
 solutions to the energy crisis," Bailey said.  He said Williams started power
 sales to the Department of Water Resources on April 1 under a long-term
 agreement signed earlier this year.
 
     About Williams
     Williams, through its subsidiaries, connects businesses to energy.  The
 company delivers innovative, reliable products and services.  Williams
 information is available at www.williams.com.
 
     Portions of this document may constitute "forward-looking statements" as
 defined by federal law.  Although the company believes any such statements are
 based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes
 will not be materially different.  Any such statements are made in reliance on
 the "safe harbor" protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act
 of 1995.  Additional information about issues that could lead to material
 changes in performance is contained in the company's annual reports filed with
 the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X78329317
 
 SOURCE  Williams