Edison Calls for Major Structural Reforms

"The new market structure is broken and must be discarded," said Edison International Chairman John E. Bryson yesterday, in a statement warning that his company soon will be "compelled to take drastic measures," including "rationing" electricity. He called for a return to regulation, where needed.

"It is time to break decisively from this failed [deregulation] policy. We need swift action from state officials to bring about immediate and longer-term fixes to a broken system. On behalf of Edison...I call on policy makers to act with the urgency this situation demands. We need to reform and, where necessary, re-regulate California's electric system."

Edison is "prepared to do our part in contributing to a comprehensive solution. However, any comprehensive solution requires urgent action on the sensible, and moderate first steps that we have put forward to the CPUC, including a stable system of rates that allows us to collect for electricity we have procured for our customers at no profit for our company. This will allow us to continue providing this vital service in the future, and avert damage to the reliability of California's electric system," said Bryson.

Since May, he noted Edison has paid more than $3.5 billion above what current CPUC-established rates allowed for purchasing power for customers. To fund the $3.5-billion deficit and to finance the additional purchases of electricity, Bryson said Edison has had to borrow huge sums of money in the commercial markets.

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