The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

The Sweet Profits of a “Bankrupt” Utility

Jun 17, 2002

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the utility that serves northern California, reported that it made 1.1 billion dollars in profit last year. This was the second-best year in PG&E history.

But that’s not the most unusual feature of this report. Because PG&E also declared bankruptcy last year, in the middle of the phony electricity crisis in California. Under the cover of contrived blackouts, PG&E and the other big utilities got 10 billion dollars from taxpayers to bail them out. And they also doubled electricity rates.

Not only did “bankrupt” PG&E make its second-best profit ever, it also rewarded its top executives with 5.75 million dollars in cash bonuses, plus stock grants worth 24.8 million dollars.

No wonder electric utilities all across the country continue to push all the state governments to deregulate their electricity markets–despite the mess in California. They want a chance to go “bankrupt” like PG&E did!