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PG&E workers would lose 25% power discount

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POSTED September 10, 2009 2:20 a.m.
Several readers pointed out that not everyone in Manteca, Ripon, and Escalon will see their power bills reduced by 15 percent should South San Joaquin Irrigation District displace PG&E as the retail electricity providers.

PG&E employees who live within the 72,000 acres comprising the SSJID would no longer be eligible for a 25 percent reduction on their power bills that they get now from PG&E.

SSJID General Manager Jeff Shields said the agency will not give any of their employees – whether they are power system workers or others – a discount.

“Everyone would be treated equally that we serve,” Shields said.

Speaking of SJID vs. PG&E experience
PG&E government relations representative Emily Barnett at last week’s meeting when the South San Joaquin Irrigation District decided to forge ahead with its application to the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission to enter the retail power business, made public remarks that SSJID lacks the experience to run retail power.

SSJID General Manager Jeff Shields with more than 25 years under his belt running independent publicly owned systems as well as other aspects of retail power has much more experience than current PG&E Chief Executive Officer Peter Darby when it comes to retail power.

Had Barnett compared Shields to the previous CEO at PG&E – Tom King – she would have been partially right in at least one area. King had served at Enron – the disgraced power trading firm that is blamed for much of the collapse of the energy market plus inflicting pain on the pocketbooks of consumers across the country – in a series of highly compensated senior executive positions from 1989 to 1997 before ultimately taking over the helm of PG&E.

Shields worked for Enron too but for six months. He worked in procuring power and quit after raising questions about Enron’s power market manipulation. Shields was one of the early whistleblowers and was part of the FBI’s witness list to build a case against Enron.

PG&E bonuses were $12M, jet cost $25M
Last week’s story regarding the South San Joaquin Irrigation District vote to enter the retail power business incorrectly referenced the PG&E corporate jet bought as they came out of bankruptcy as costing $12 million.

The issue of $12 million came up when PG&E government relations representative Emily Barnett insisted that SSJID was wasting public money by spending $12 million on studies to determine whether it was practical to take over retail power services in Manteca, Ripon, and Escalon, and reduce rates by at least 15 percent.

The jet actually cost $25 million. PG&E spent $12 million on high level executive bonuses that they gave to the top brass in San Francisco who plunged the utility into bankruptcy.

Soccer & softball coming to Manteca
Manteca Parks and Recreation staff is working with the Stockton Monarcas Futbol Club to accommodate a tournament on Sept. 26-27.

The tournament could potentially bring in more than 100 teams into Manteca.

The Northern California Senior Softball Tournament will be held at Northgate Park Complex that weekend as well.
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