Daily GPI / NGI All News Access

Labor May Play Role in Filling CPUC Seats

Labor May Play Role in Filling CPUC Seats

Political forces are prevailing over economics in California's ongoing efforts to finish the job of unbundling its natural gas and electricity industries, and no one in the newly elected Gov. Gray Davis's administration so far is getting involved, according to energy industry observers in the state capital in Sacramento. As a result, three months into 1999, the five-member California Public Utilities Commission is operating with two vacant seats, still awaiting gubernatorial appointments.

On both the unbundling and the CPUC seats, organized labor, which played a major role in the new governor's election, is a dominant player, according to utility and industry insiders. A knowledgeable observer among the state's big business community said the CPUC positions should be filled once labor representatives put more pressure on the governor's staff for some action. Union representatives reportedly want new regulators tied to Gov. Davis on the CPUC early enough this year so they can slow current moves to further open up natural gas and electricity, particularly in the metering and billing areas where the unions want to preserve utility jobs. The unions are supporting two proposed bills in the state legislature (AB 1421; AB 1082) that would put a moratorium on additional unbundling in electricity and extend a current moratorium in natural gas that runs through the end of this year.

©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.

ISSN © 2577-9877 | ISSN © 1532-1231
Comments powered by Disqus