WASHINGTON, DC — California Governor Gray Davis told a U.S. Senate hearing that power companies have “bilked” his state out of billions of dollars in overcharges and he demanded $9 billion in refunds.

“It is unconscionable for the generators to profit from their egregious overcharges,” said Davis. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) “must move quickly to enforce the law and order the energy companies to give back the money.”

He claimed that FERC “looked the other way” as the power companies “bilked our state.” “There has been no evidence to suggest that suppliers bilked anyone,” stated Mark Stultz, vice president of the Electric Power Supply Association.

In the hearing before the Senate’s Governmental Affairs committee, chaired by Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Davis said that California officials estimated that over the last year, power companies overcharged his state by almost $9 billion. To date, FERC has mandated $124 million in refunds for overcharges.

Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) blamed the governor for not addressing California’s energy problems sooner. “How was it that you seemed to let things get totally out of hand?” he said to Davis.

Publication date:07/02/2001