Energy Commission Chair William J. Keese attributes the increased activity directly to deregulation. "The interest shown by private investors in constructing new electrical generating facilities is a clear indicator that deregulation is working even before its official January 1, 1998 starting date," said Keese.
Governor Pete Wilson signed landmark legislation last year overhauling California's 80-year-old electric utility industry. This followed earlier federal action deregulating natural gas and opening access to electrical transmission lines. California leads the nation in implementation of deregulation; proposals are now pending in more than a dozen states, along with federal legislation directing nationwide deregulation.
"The five proposed power plants represent private investment of $2 billion in California's electrical generating system," Chairman Keese stated. "This investment by national and even international power generation companies in state of the art generating facilities will benefit all California electricity consumers."
The cleaner-burning natural gas fired plants are also more fuel efficient and cost effective.
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