In the wild final hours of the California state legislature’s1998 session Monday (August 31), another bill aimed at curbing theleeway of the state energy regulators was passed (Senate Bill 1757)and is now awaiting the governor’s signature. A California PublicUtilities Commission representative at the state capitol said theregulators’ remain neutral on the bill, but may take a positionwhen they meet for a regularly scheduled commission conferenceThursday (Sept. 3).

The new legislation reiterates a ban – SB 1602, which was passedlast week-on the CPUC taking actions to further unbundle the retailnatural gas industry before the year 2000, and in the interimperiod before more gas unbundling, it prevents Southern CaliforniaGas Co. from selling electricity in Southern California EdisonCo.’s territory, which is contiguous with much of the gasutility’s.

Finally, the law mandates that the CPUC and the five-memberstate governing board overseeing the electric restructuring workout a formal memorandum of understanding to give the governingboard the primary authority to represent California before FERC onissues related to the state’s independent system operator (ISO) andpower exchange (PX).

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