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Governor Schwarzenegger was elected, in part, on the notion that Governor Davis improperly handled the energy deregulation crisis of 2000 and 2001. However, Arnold is proposing the same deregulation agenda that got California into the energy crisis in the first place. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as Arnold’s lead advisor has been former Governor Pete Wilson who negotiated and signed the disastrous deregulation plan in 1996. And, of course, Arnold met privately with deregulation guru and well-known corporate crook, Ken Lay, during the energy crisis. Read more about this meeting in FTCR’s energy policy letter to Governor Schwarzenegger.

The truth is, as all Californians learned at great cost, electricity is too vital to the economy and public safety to be left in the hands of unregulated energy companies and the whims of the market.

What Arnold Says About Energy What ArnoldWatch sees
"Create a working wholesale power market based on the lessons learned from other states and the FERC standard market design." The "wholesale power market" sent California back to the "Dark" ages as the lynchpin of the deregulated electricity scheme that encouraged price gouging and market manipulation. Deregulation was a massive failure in California; it has failed everywhere it has been tried. Virtually all of the states blacked out by the Summer ’03 Northeast power failure were deregulated states and power prices have increased in other deregulated states and countries, just as in California.
"Affirm the commitment to private power by dismantling the California Power Authority." Arnold means that that he will remove the state’s best protection against another phony shortage. The Authority was created to be able to build public power plants in order to reduce the market power of private firms like Enron. Arnold would rather entrust the system to the same private energy companies that stole billions during the energy crisis.
"Slow and poor policy response exacerbated financial degradation of utilities - (such as a) delay in raising rates" Arnold is saying that the big problem with Gray Davis’s handling of the energy crisis was that he delayed in raising rates on average Californians! Arnold’s solution would have been to force innocent consumers to pay even more money to Enron and the other energy profiteers.

That he has not committed to fighting for the outstanding $9-$20 billion these energy firms still owe Californians indicates Arnold does not understand what the voter anger about the energy crisis meant, namely that under deregulation, Californians paid too much for power and should get their money back.
"Current bureaucratic rules are strangling efforts to prepare California’s energy infrastructure" Arnold would make it harder to contest and mitigate environmental problems associated with building new power plants. He will also push to ensure that power firms can charge consumers whatever they want for electricity, no matter how excessive.
All Schwarzenegger quotes are from

Nov 15, 2003 - Contra Costa Times (California)
Treasurer urges grid investment

Oct 26, 2003 - Contra Costa Times (California)
Energy issue will test Schwarzenegger's skills

- Read More Articles   

Press Releases
Oct 14, 2003
Gov.-elect Schwarzenegger Should Come Clean About Ken Lay Meeting Or Face Inquiry, Group Says

Oct 03, 2003
Enron E-mails Confirm Schwarzenegger-Ken Lay Meeting

- Read More Press Releases 

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