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the california crisis
What Happened In California?
NEW YORK TIMES SPECIAL REPORTS

Price Limits Extended on Power
June 18, 2001
By JEFF GERTH

Broadening efforts to rein in California's power crisis, regulators ordered that restraints on prices be applied at all hours and extended them to 10 other Western states.


Natural Gas Prices Remain High in Southern California
June 5, 2001
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.

To many experts, the woes of California's natural gas market are as profound as those of its electricity market.


California Utility Says Prices of Gas Were Inflated
May 9, 2001
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. and LOWELL BERGMAN

One of California's struggling utility companies accused the El Paso Corporation yesterday of artificially inflating the price of natural gas in the state by $3.7 billion over the last year by using its partial control of a major pipeline to curtail the flow of gas.


Power Concern Offers California a Secret Deal
May 2, 2001
By JEFF GERTH and LOWELL BERGMAN

Duke Energy, a power-generating company accused of overcharging customers millions of dollars during California's year-old energy crisis, has secretly offered Gov. Gray Davis a deal that it hopes will solve its legal problems while helping to calm the state's chaotic electricity markets.


While a Utility May Be Failing, Its Owner Is Not
April 30, 2001
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. and LAURA M. HOLSON

Pacific Gas and Electric, the giant California utility, may have just made one of the largest bankruptcy filings in history, but it has been a banner year for the rest of its parent company, the PG&E Corporation.


Plan on California Energy Has No Shortage of Critics
April 27, 2001
By JOSEPH KAHN

A novel plan by federal regulators to control California's runaway electricity prices is a messy, politically motivated compromise that may offer some relief to consumers but will do little to fix the state's dysfunctional energy market, analysts said.


California's Largest Utility Files for Bankruptcy
April 7, 2001
By LAURA M. HOLSON

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company, California's largest investor-owned utility, filed for bankruptcy protection today, declaring that politicians and regulators had not moved quickly enough to resolve an energy crisis that has caused periodic rolling blackouts and is costing the state billions of dollars.

By the early 1990s, electricity rates in California were on average 50 percent higher than the rest of the U.S. In 1995, the state legislature unanimously passed a bill to open the industry to competition, but now consumers are paying almost twice the rate they did before deregulation, and suffering rolling blackouts. Here's a summary of the events.
The Roots Of The Crisis
What, exactly, happened in California? Some have attributed the state's energy woes to the "perfect storm" theory: California fell victim to a number of different problems that, taken individually, wouldn't have equaled a crisis, but through a combination of a flawed deregulation scheme, the effect of the drought, and several other extenuating circumstances, California was caught in the eye of a storm. Here are the views of business professor Severin Borenstein; U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney; California Governor Gray Davis; Robert Glynn, CEO of PG&E Corp.; consumer advocate Nettie Hoge; Enron Chairman Ken Lay; California's chief regulator, Loretta Lynch; Duke Energy CEO Richard Priory; former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson; Enron CEO Jeff Skilling; and Stanford economics professor Frank Wolak.

For more on the roots of the crisis, see this overview from the San Francisco Chronicle.

IS IT FERC'S FAULT?
Critics have accused FERC Chairman Curt Hebert of being a free market ideologue who is blindly devoted to the free market. Did FERC neglect its obligations as an energy market monitor and exacerbate -- or cause -- California's crisis? Here are the views of business professor Severin Borenstein; FERC Chairman Curt Hebert; consumer advocate Nettie Hoge; Enron Chairman Ken Lay; California's chief regulator, Loretta Lynch; FERC economist Ron Rattey; Enron CEO Jeff Skilling; and Stanford economics professor Frank Wolak.
timeline
This timeline chronicles California's deregulation process, the ensuing electricity crisis, and state and federal approaches toward solving California's problems.
Links
Here is a collection of links that provide more information on what happened in California, and who the players are.


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