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Chapter 11 Update: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Approves Pacific Gas And Electric Company's Disclosure Statement

04/24/2002

SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company today issued the following statement after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved its disclosure statement:

"The approval of the disclosure statement is a significant milestone as the case moves forward in the bankruptcy process. PG&E remains confident that it has the only solution that restores the utility's investment-grade credit rating and allows the State to exit the power buying business."

Also in Court today, PG&E questioned whether the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had the necessary authority to submit and agree to be bound by the alternative plan of reorganization it filed last week. The CPUC had earlier indicated to the Bankruptcy Court that it had the authority to submit a binding plan and would do so by the Court's deadline.

However on April 11, responding to a legal challenge by the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights (FTCR) that it did not have the authority to propose an alternative plan, the CPUC said it would open a proceeding to consider the rate impacts of its plan of reorganization in order to give interested parties an opportunity to comment. On April 17, two days after the CPUC filed its alternative plan, it told the California Supreme Court the FTCR charge should be dismissed because the Commission planned to hold the public hearings and give parties an opportunity to challenge its alternative plan. And in fact on April 22, the CPUC opened the proceeding to hold a public hearing.

PG&E indicated to the Bankruptcy Court that it believes these inconsistencies need to be resolved before the CPUC's alternative plan can be allowed to move forward.

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