San Francisco voters reject both public power measures

By Sylvie Dale
Online Editor

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 12, 2001– Final results of a Nov. 6 municipal ballot measure show that voters in San Francisco have no interest in buying the area’s power transmission lines.

Voters also rejected a measure that would create an independent municipal utility district.

Charter Amendment F, which would have enabled public authorities to buy Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s electric infrastructure, lost by a mere 533 votes. The utility, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 6 as a result of power purchase bills from the energy crisis in California, lobbied heavily against the idea with advertising campaigns amounting to nearly $2 million dollars.

Municipal Utility District (MUD) I to create an independent municipal utility district lost by a wider margin of 4,361 votes.

“Pacific Gas and Electric Company is pleased with the voters’ rejection of Proposition F and Measure I,” the company said in response to the news. “This outcome affirms that there is no strong sentiment in favor of the takeover of PG&E’s distribution system in San Francisco. Furthermore, the approval of Measure B demonstrates that the voters overwhelmingly recognize that additional electric generation and increased conservation efforts are the two most important solutions to California’s energy crisis.”

Proponents of the measures reportedly will bring the issues back to voters in the spring, the Associated Press reported.

The counting was delayed by six days because of extra caution used with absentee ballots, which were taken away from City Hall as a precaution against anthrax contamination, which was not found on any of them.

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