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.
AND ELECTRIC COMPANY RECEIVES COURT APPROVAL OF SECOND-DAY MOTIONS
Utility Granted Authority
to Continue Efforts to Secure Natural Gas Supplies, Use Cash Collateral
for Normal Business Operations
San Francisco, CA -- Pacific
Gas and Electric Company today received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Northern District of California, of various second-day
These orders will enable
Pacific Gas and Electric Company to continue to fulfill post-petition
obligations to suppliers and other creditors without disruption,
and so that all parties' interests are considered, and treated fairly.
The goal of these early proceedings is to assure stability of the
company, in accordance with bankruptcy law.
The court granted the utility
the authority to continue to use its natural gas revenues to secure
future supplies, hopefully ensuring that there will be no disruption
of service for millions of natural gas customers.
The court also authorized
interim use of cash collateral in which mortgage bondholders have
a beneficial interest, and scheduled and established deadlines relating
to a final hearing on the continued use of cash collateral.
Also today, Pacific Gas
and Electric Company asked the Court to allow at least a 60 day
suspension of a requirement approved by the CPUC on March 27, that
would force PG&E to restate all its regulatory books and accounts
back to January 1, 1998 in order to prolong the current electric
rate freeze and make it appear that PG&E has never incurred any
operating losses on its wholesale power costs since the energy crisis
Under the CPUC order, PG&E
is required to file tariffs and reports by Wednesday, April 11,
making the accounting changes and restating its books. PG&E believes
the CPUC accounting and ratemaking change is intended to interfere
with the rights of creditors and shareholders to recover over $8.9
billion in undercollected power costs that the company has accrued
since last summer. Under federal bankruptcy law, PG&E, as a "debtor
in possession," generally has an additional 60 days to comply with
various deadlines issued by other agencies, and actions by those
agencies that would interfere with creditors rights and the value
of PG&E's assets cannot be implemented without approval of the bankruptcy
At the Court's request,
Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the CPUC are currently negotiating
on an extension of this filing requirement, and is hopeful that
an agreed upon solution can be reached in a timely manner.