Will the Crown accept the olive branch offered by its colony, or will conflict ensue? That was the question posed on July 13 by Thomas Page, CEO of San Diego Gas and Electric Co., at the "Western States Workshop on California Restructuring," the first industrywide meeting to discuss the policy proposals issued six weeks before by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).The Crown sent its emissaries. Arriving from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), both Chair Elizabeth Moler and Commissioner William Massey attended the meeting and pledged their cooperation. But their royal prerogative they would not cede. The colony may experiment, but the Crown will decide.
Common Faith, Diverging Paths
The CPUC and the FERC share a common faith that, on a macroeconomic scale, the generation market is or can be made workably competitive, allowing policymakers to lower the price of electricity by effectuating competition among sources of electric generation. Nevertheless, each agency has mapped out a different path to its desired result.