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PG&E Files Opposition To Ratepayers' Committee

05/09/2001

San Francisco, CA -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company today filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court asking the court to vacate the United States Trustee's (UST) appointment of the Ratepayers' Committee. The filing indicates that the creation of a Ratepayers' Committee exceeded the authority of the UST because it was inconsistent with express provisions of the federal Bankruptcy Code.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company appreciates that its Chapter 11 filing and Plan of Reorganization may create concerns for the company's customers. Under the Bankruptcy Code, there are legitimate ways by which the ratepayers can be represented and heard in the process, for example, through the California Attorney General's Office. In addition, the bankruptcy code provides flexibility and discretion to the court to allow parties to intervene in the case when they have standing to do so.

The utility does not object to ratepayers having a voice in the process, when issues arise where the court determines they have standing, but does object to procedures that are outside of the existing Bankruptcy Code.

In its filing, Pacific Gas and Electric Company says the "organizations and individuals appointed to the Ratepayers' Committee - and the ratepayers whose interests they supposedly represent - are neither creditors nor equity security holders and therefore not eligible for appointment to a committee by the UST under Section 1102(a)(1). Thus, the UST's appointment of the Ratepayers' Committee was not authorized by the Bankruptcy Code and constitutes an abuse of discretion by the UST."

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