Senior Legal Counsel
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|Jesse W. RaskinLegal Counsel
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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON ATTACKS LEADING COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION – CENSORSHIP AND INTIMIDATION ARE OBVIOUS MOTIVES
Berkeley , CA – With less than a week to go before cross-examination of Chief Executive Officer Alan Fohrer regarding Southern California Edison’s multi-billion dollar application to increase revenue, the case is heating up!
Throughout the proceeding the Greenlining Institute and other community leaders have faced underhanded attacks by Southern California Edison aimed at intimidating community groups and suppressing opposition to the company’s attempt to raise electricity rates by over a billion dollars during an economic recession.
For example, on April 22, 2008, just days before the start of a series of public hearings held across southern California , CEO Fohrer sent a letter to untold numbers of business and community leaders attacking the Greenlining Institute for its opposition to the rate increase. Too, southern California community leaders have testified on the record that Southern California Edison has threatened to reduce philanthropy to nonprofit organizations who speak out against the increase.
Despite Edison ‘s attacks, dozens of community members appeared alongside a diverse coalition of organizations against the rate increase, including the Division of Ratepayer Advocates, Inland Empire Latino Coalition, FALCON, Mabuhay Alliance and the Greenlining Institute to voice opposition to the $2.9 billion dollar windfall Southern California Edison hopes to receive.
Concerns about Southern California Edison’s request for a rate increase are amplified by the company’s history of deceptive and unlawful corporate practices. Recently, both the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission punished Edison companies for dishonest business practices and failure to meet the “duty of candor.” With a $2.9 billion dollar rate hike on the table, consumer protection advocates question whether the company will again act in bad faith.
As Thalia Gonzalez, Senior Legal Counsel of the Greenlining Institute says, “In a democratic society, it is unacceptable that a large corporation would use its financial power in the attempt to unfairly influence the government with the end goal of forcing California families to pay more for basic needs like electricity and fuel.”