Attorney General Obtains Preliminary Court Protection of Power Supplied to Californians by Southern California Edison

Wednesday, January 24, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(LOS ANGELES) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today obtained a preliminary injunction to allow Southern California Edison to keep its long-term electricity contracts from being canceled and resold by the California Power Exchange, pending a court hearing February 2.

Superior Court Judge David Yaffe granted the preliminary injunction in Los Angeles. The Attorney General asked the court to grant the temporary protection to help preserve the supply of power at current rates for more than 670,000 California homes now served by Southern California Edison. The utility had been facing imminent cancellation of long-term power contracts for failure to make a $215 million payment.

In legal papers filed with the court, the Attorney General argued that preserving the long-term contracts of Southern California Edison was vital to avoid worsening the energy shortage in California, which already has been declared a State of Emergency by Governor Davis.

"The California Power Exchange Corporation's potential auction of long-term energy contracts owned by Southern California Edison may have a severe effect on California's already calamitous electricity situation," the Attorney General stated in the complaint to intervene in support of Southern California Edison. The complaint added that the contract cancellation and resale of power by the California Power Exchange "could potentially worsen the State's energy shortage by (among other things) reducing the availability of electricity to the citizens of the State of California."

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