OUCH! California Power Lies

- The direction California's 1996 electricity deregulation law was supposed to make consumers' costs go: Down.

- Expected hike in residential electricity bills because of a temporary emergency rate increase approved by California's Public Utilities Commission on January 4: 9 percent.

- Number of times that the State of California has imposed rolling blackouts in January because electricity demand exceeded supply: 2.

- After-tax profits since last May of California's seven out-of-state power producers and marketers, which have hiked energy prices on the wholesale market: More than $4.7 billion.

- Amount Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and other California utilities have received since deregulation from California ratepayers to pay off their "stranded assets"˜debts acquired from bad investments, largely in nuclear power plants: $20 billion.

- Amount that Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, the state's two largest utilities say they are in the red, because they can't afford the high cost of wholesale energy: $12 billion.

- Amount Southern California Edison and PG&E's, parent and affiliated companies have spent on power plants, stock buybacks, and other purchases recently, despite complaints of near-bankruptcy: $22 billion.

- Amount of campaign contributions distributed by PG&E and Southern California Edison in California races during the 2000 elections: $3.5 million.

- Amount PG&E gave to Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg (D-Sherman Oaks): $49,000.

- Amount that consumers would pay in surcharges to bail out the two utilities under a proposal by Hertzberg: up to $12 billion.

- Hertzberg's position on campaign finance initiative, Proposition 34, on the 2000 California ballot, criticized as a sham by reform groups: In favor.

For more information (and for detailed sourcing on these statistics) go to www.publicampaign.org.

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