PG&E Slammed for Illegal Efforts to Stifle Competition

California Public Utilities Commission warns utility company's actions are illegal

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, May 4, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 PM PDT
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PG&E Slammed for Illegal Efforts to Stifle Competition

Brian Kusler

PG&E's efforts to convince customers not to sign up with Marin Clean Energy has earned the company a warning from state utility regulators.

Pacific Gas and Electrics efforts to derail public power in Marin County have been deemed illegal by state regulators, who issued a warning to the powerful utility company.

The California Public Utilities Commission called the brochures the company has been mailing Marin residents "misleading" and order the company to stop sending them, and said that it can not use its own phone banks to call customers (at ratepayer expense) and then transfer them to customer service to opt-out of the Marin Clean Energy public power effort.

The San Francisco-based PG&E said it would respond to the letter of warning from the CPUC in a few days.

PG&E is also spending nearly $35 million dollars (again, from revenue paid by customers) to back Proposition 16, the ballot initiative it hopes will keep similar public power efforts from ever getting off the ground by requiring a two-thirds vote for approval in local elections.

Jackson West could not trust an organization less than he does PG&E.

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