Power Loans to Calif. Utilities Nearing an End

Reliant filed a lawsuit last week, challenging a directive from the California ISO that demanded power suppliers confirm they planned to continue selling electricity in the California market. Reliant argues in the suit, which has yet to be heard, that the power agency lacks authority to make such a demand.

California Power Woes the Nation

Meanwhile, the chairman of a House Commerce subcommittee on energy became the latest in a slew of Republican lawmakers who have chided California for not building power plants and expecting low power rates.

"We want to work with California, but California has to work with the rest of the country," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, during a speech at a conference of the American Public Power Association.

He said California officials have "an obligation" to review environmental restrictions that inhibit power production, construction of new power plants and transmission lines. Like Bush, Barton rejected federal controls on wholesale prices, arguing that price regulation would lead to greater shortages.

The APPA, which represents public power agencies around the country including large ones in the Northwest and in California, passed a resolution calling for the federal government to temporarily regulate wholesale prices until California's power market problems are resolved.

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