EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
OPPOSITION TO RATEPAYERS' COMMITTEE
San Francisco, CA -- Pacific
Gas and Electric Company today filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court asking the court to vacate the United States Trustee's (UST)
appointment of the Ratepayers' Committee. The filing indicates that
the creation of a Ratepayers' Committee exceeded the authority of
the UST because it was inconsistent with express provisions of the
federal Bankruptcy Code.
Pacific Gas and Electric
Company appreciates that its Chapter 11 filing and Plan of Reorganization
may create concerns for the company's customers. Under the Bankruptcy
Code, there are legitimate ways by which the ratepayers can be represented
and heard in the process, for example, through the California Attorney
General's Office. In addition, the bankruptcy code provides flexibility
and discretion to the court to allow parties to intervene in the
case when they have standing to do so.
The utility does not object
to ratepayers having a voice in the process, when issues arise where
the court determines they have standing, but does object to procedures
that are outside of the existing Bankruptcy Code.
In its filing, Pacific Gas
and Electric Company says the "organizations and individuals appointed
to the Ratepayers' Committee - and the ratepayers whose interests
they supposedly represent - are neither creditors nor equity security
holders and therefore not eligible for appointment to a committee
by the UST under Section 1102(a)(1). Thus, the UST's appointment
of the Ratepayers' Committee was not authorized by the Bankruptcy
Code and constitutes an abuse of discretion by the UST."