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January 19, 2001
Contact: PG&E News Department (415) 973-5930
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.


SAN FRANCISCO - Gordon R. Smith, president and chief executive officer of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, today issued the following statement after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its "emergency order":

"For nearly 100 years, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has been committed to providing safe and reliable service to our customers in Northern and Central California. Through fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, our obligation to serve has never wavered.

"The Commission's rhetoric today is an insult to the 19,000 men and women of PG&E who have worked tirelessly to minimize customer inconvenience this week when the California Independent System Operator ordered rotating outages in Northern California.

"Today's action does nothing to prevent the rotating outages that have plagued California. Pacific Gas and Electric Company is not changing its scheduling responsibilities. This has been clearly conveyed to the California Independent System Operator and Power Exchange. This was also conveyed directly to the Commission before the emergency order was issued.

"We are committed to providing safe and reliable service to our customers. As we have been stating for several months, the state's regulatory framework has driven us to the brink of not having the cash or credit to buy power for our customers.

"At a time when we need real solutions to the state's energy crisis, the Commission has wasted precious time chasing after a problem that did not exist. They continue to ignore the fundamental problem that we can no longer afford to buy power for our customers."


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