The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

“Bankrupt” PG&E reports that its profits triple

Aug 13, 2001

At the end of July, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced that its profits had tripled to 750 million dollars for the latest three months over the same period last year. This is certainly not bad for a company that in this same three months declared that it was supposedly “losing” so much money that it had no choice but to declare bankruptcy!

For the last year, PG&E’s largest subsidiary, the electric and gas utility serving northern and central California, has been claiming that it was being squeezed by the high rates that energy producers charge and the supposedly “low” rates that it was allowed to charge its consumers. Under the guise of losing record amounts of money, it got the state of California to spend billions of taxpayers’ dollars to buy it electricity on the wholesale market. At the same time, it got the state regulatory board to impose record rate increases on consumers.

No wonder that electric utilities all across the country are pushing to deregulate their states’ electricity markets quickly.