Full Assembly to vote on Friday
August 30, 2001 – A rescue plan to save Southern California Edison from bankruptcy passed the energy committee Wednesday.
In this version, committee members removed tangible assets once under consideration – purchase of the transmission lines, which is now only an option, and title to thousands of acres of Sierra land, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported.
The 11-7 vote is the result of days of negotiation. The full Assembly is expected to vote on the measure by Friday.
The 53-page plan, called SB 78xx, would allow the ailing utility to sell $2.9 billion in bonds, backed by business ratepayers. SoCal Edison currently has $3.9 billion in debt from unreimbursed energy costs.
SoCal Edison has disputed having to bankroll the remaining $1 billion but may be able to pay for almost half of it out of a $425 million tax refund from its parent company, Edison International.
As a surprise move, lawmakers Wednesday decided not to require SoCal Edison to transfer thousands of acres of sensitive Sierra watershed lands to a trust created by the state.
The committee voted to require development rights but not the title to the much-debated land.
On SoCal Edison’s part, it would cancel all litigation against the state and, once solvent, would resume purchasing electricity for its 4.2 million customers.