Governor's Seal
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR


PR00:151
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2000

GOVERNOR DAVIS CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION
OF CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO
BAY AREA BROWNOUT
Directs PUC and Electricity Oversight Board to Report Back
with Findings and Recommendations by August 1

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gray Davis issued a letter to California’s Public Utilities Commission and Electricity Oversight Board calling for an investigation of the circumstances that led to rolling power brownouts in the San Francisco Bay Area last Wednesday.

"The safety and reliability, affordability and fairness of California’s energy systems are of paramount concern and cannot be compromised," Governor Davis wrote in his letter. "Ensuring a reliable electric system is central to the health and safety of every Californian as well as California’s continued economic growth. Existing generation capacity simply must be available to use when Californians need the power."

Governor Davis issued the letter upon learning that electricity power plant and transmission maintenance problems, compounded by severe hot weather, led to interruptions in the supply of electricity to consumers throughout the Bay Area. The power interruptions experienced by residential, commercial and industrial customers resulted in inconvenience and economic losses throughout the region.

Governor Davis called for the investigation to determine the cause of the generation maintenance and transmission problems, the related impact on electricity prices and to identify solutions to avoid recurrence. The governor’s letter follows directives he issued earlier this week calling for State government entities to curtail electricity usage in the Bay Area throughout the remainder of the week.

Please see attached letter. (below)

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GOVERNOR GRAY DAVIS     SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA 95814        (916) 445-2841

 


Governor's Seal
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR


June 15, 2000

 

Honorable Loretta Lynch Honorable Michael Kahn
President Chairman
California Public Utilities Commission Electricity Oversight Board


Dear President Lynch and Chairman Kahn:

I am advised that electricity power plant and transmission maintenance problems caused interruptions in the supply of electricity to consumers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Compounded by severe hot weather, these electrical supply and voltage support problems experienced by residential, commercial and industrial customers resulted in inconvenience and economic losses throughout the region.

To reduce the drain on energy during this episode, I directed State agencies and facilities in the Bay Area immediately to institute energy management practices aimed at reducing energy use. The safety and reliability, affordability and fairness of California’s energy systems are of paramount concern and cannot be compromised. Ensuring a reliable electric system is central to the health and safety of every Californian as well as California’s continued economic growth. Existing generation capacity simply must be available to use when Californians need the power.

I am directing you to exercise your respective authority to investigate the circumstances, including the reasons for the generation maintenance and transmission problems and related impact on electricity prices and advise me on actions that can be taken to avoid recurrence of this situation. Report back to me by August 1 your findings and recommendations for solving them.

Sincerely,

 

 

GRAY DAVIS