The whole mess of deregulation started in the mid 1990’s when Pete Wilson (former San Diego mayor and governor) thought he had an issue that would make him stand out, that issue of course was utility deregulation. I guess the model he was trying to follow was based on observation of the long distance telephone market, where ATT was taken down a few notches by maverick up starts such as MCI and Sprint.
After an unsuccessful presidential bid by Pete Wilson, another California politician Assemblyman Steve Peace in 1996 decided to make a name for himself and gathered the big industrial customers, utilities, and various interest groups together and somehow managed to get the legislature to unanimously pass an electricity restructuring bill.
Sen. Peace: Enron Made Me Do It. It appears that Vice President Cheney was essentially rubber-stamping the proposals of Enron executives and other energy industry characters in the crafting of the White House energy policy last spring. But what about the California legislators who let deregulation happen in the Golden State in 1996? "[Enron] had such control and influence over [federal regulators] that that in turn put California in a place where we had no choice" but to deregulate. This comes from California Senator Steve Peace, who was instrumental in crafting the deregulation legislation that first sent billions of consumer dollars to in-state utilities and then billions more to out-of-state power companies in the law's short life span.
10. What was the purpose and substance of the May 11, 2001 meeting with then-Mayor Richard Riordan, former junk bond king Michael Milken, and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Lawmakers should obtain the materials Ken Lay provided at that meeting.
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