From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: [CAPPcoord] PG&E responds to objections to its bankruptcy plan
Cc: governor of California, California Senators
From: Russell D. Hoffman
Date: January 24th, 2002
Re: PG&E Press Release (a response)

To Whom It May Concern,

Based on the PG&E press release shown below, it sounds like what's really going on here is that the federal government is trying to take control away from the State of California, and is simply using the PG&E case to do so for all eternity, by setting a legal precedent.

This sort of thing is most easily done when the case against the federal position is weak (or, when states do it to local governments, when the local case is weak -- and so on down the line until they get to y-o-u!).  Sometimes, a particularly weak case is presented to the courts, with the covert help of those who want such a case presented just so that it can be struck down, and in the process, set a precedent.

There are so many ways to erode our freedoms.  The October 12th, 2001 attack on FOIA, the "UnPatriot Act", and other intrusions since 9-11 are only the most obvious.  The subtlety of the court actions is harder to see, but just as important.

PG&E would love to have only Federal control instead of additional State control, because then there will be less regulations.  Since all companies doing business in California have to obey federal regulations, any California regulations are, by definition, additional, and thus, will be an added cost and "burden", in the utility company's eyes.

From the Press Release shown below it would seem that the utility wants to stick Californians with the bill for PG&E's problems, and at the same time help the Feds establish new rules so that any state which tries to take control of its energy policy can be appropriately reined in by the corporate/federal government controllers.  They do seem to feel certain that they can make money (at the new electricity rates we are all experiencing here in California), but how long will THAT last?

So, the so-called bankruptcy of PG&E is the ultimate ruse:  By being under bankruptcy "protection", they can help set important precedents for utility companies to circumvent State laws.  Any time the states complain, the utilities can go into bankruptcy and then the Feds can overrule State regulations for whatever reason seems to suit them.  But the good news is, the utilities will, each time they erode our State's authority, promise to circumvent as few State regulations as possible!  How big of them!

Just chip away, and chip away, and soon enough, they'll have it all.  The state will be powerless to control our energy future.

Lack of state control is exactly why wind energy, wave, tide, solar, geothermal, biomass -- and hydro where appropriate -- have all continued to fail, even in environmentally-conscious California:  Because the federal business of making us use nuclear power, as it is exercised by the DOE and the NRC, won't let these other options, which are cleaner and cheaper and safer, succeed.

Meanwhile, we are increasingly at risk of terrorist attacks at our nuke plants because we don't have the will-power to shut them down.  PG&E owns Diablo Canyon, a notoriously unreliable pair of nuclear reactors whose unreliability has contributed to the excuse last year for rolling blackouts (but don't be fooled, there was plenty of energy available.  The lights just went out to scare you.).

If you think rolling blackouts have been bad so far, just wait till the last remaining pieces of State control of utilities are lifted!  You'll see new nukes everywhere, of an "advanced" design first proven unsuccessful several decades ago and with no containment structure (Pebble Bed Modular Reactors), and the four reactors operating now in California (two each at Diablo Cyn and San Onofre) will continue to operate until, one by one they all either melt down or suffer too many close-calls to be run cost-effectively, even despite a lap-dog federal regulatory agency that is supposed to oversee, but instead overlooks, everything (the NRC).

And the current situation isn't much better than what they have planned for us: OSHA has no jurisdiction over nukes in America (and has complained about this on a number of occasions), and Cal-OSHA hasn't inspected the plants in years, and refuses to, despite public pressure.  EPA has (in their myopic viewpoint) no jurisdiction either, except to say how much radiation might be too much -- which they don't do very well either -- but they have no regulatory authority to stop the production of ever more radioactive waste (they claim).  So it's all up to the DOE and its regulatory arm, the NRC, to set America's energy policy.  The NRC is actually just a few hundred "experts" who bounce back and forth between industry and government, and don't regulate a thing.  Millions of lives are in their incompetent hands.


Russell Hoffman
Californians Revolting Against Plutonium
Carlsbad, CA


At 03:01 PM 1/24/02 , CAPPcoord posted:
PG&E press release:

January 22, 2002


Federal Law Gives Bankruptcy Courts the Ability to Preempt State Law; Utility
Seeks to Preempt the Fewest Number of State Laws Necessary to Get Plan

SAN FRANCISCO - As requested by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Pacific Gas and
Electric Company today filed its response to preemption and Eleventh
Amendment immunity objections to its Disclosure Statement submitted by the
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Attorney
General and six other parties. On January 25, the Court is scheduled to hear
oral arguments on these issues.

Federal law gives the Bankruptcy Court the authority to preempt applicable
state laws in order to confirm a plan of reorganization and allow the debtor
to pay creditors and emerge from Chapter 11. The Bankruptcy Code also allows
a plan to transfer assets without approval of state agencies.

"Congress has deliberately withheld from state regulators the very veto power
over public utility reorganizations that the CPUC seeks to wield in this
case: Congress has expressly determined that only a 'rate change provided for
in the plan' of reorganization is subject to state regulatory pre-approval,"
PG&E stated in its filing. "PG&E plan does not call for such a change in

Under PG&E's plan of reorganization, all valid claims would be paid in full
by borrowing against the full value of the assets, the utility would regain
its creditworthy status and the state could get out of the energy business.

PG&E's plan asks the Court to preempt some 37 CPUC regulations and state
laws, out of the thousands of laws and regulations under which the utility
operates, in order to complete the transfer of certain assets and establish
three new California-based companies. PG&E's plan of reorganization seeks to
preempt the minimum amount of laws and regulations necessary to allow it to
emerge from bankruptcy.

The plan does not ask the Court to exempt PG&E from the ordinary regulatory
oversight of the CPUC and other state agencies. Following the adoption of the
plan, all of the businesses will continue to be subject to all applicable
federal, state and local public health, safety and environmental laws and

"Having succeeded in precipitating the bankruptcy, the CPUC now seeks to
prevent PG&E from solving its financial problems through the orderly
reorganization process established by federal law by arguing at the threshold
that the Bankruptcy Court is powerless to confirm the plan of
reorganization," the utility said.

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