Will Electricity Re-Reg Measure be on the Ballot?

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 15, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On July 20 the Court of Appeals will hear arguments on whether the ballot measure to stop new direct access, to change the rules for current direct access customers and to regulate energy service providers like utilities violates the state constitution.  Opponents believe that the measure would override the legislature’s constitutionally granted authority over the CPUC.  That means the petitioners should have gathered the additional signatures required for a constitutional (rather than a statutory) amendment. The court could declare the measure is invalid and keep it off the November 8 special election ballot.

Legal challenges to keep measures off the ballot are rarely successful. Courts are loathe to disenfranchise voters, preferring to let elections proceed and handle legal challenges after the fact.  Legal experts believe the case for invalidation in this case is strong, but they warn that it remains an uphill battle. The court has until mid-August to decide.

Not counting on victory in court, opponents have engaged a campaign firm to do polling, coalition building, and media outreach to ensure voters understand the measure and vote "No" in November. All customers who currently enjoy direct access, or want that option in the future should join the coalition and contribute to the campaign. Campaign activities will focus in the next few weeks on developing campaign materials and outreach to major associations and companies active in energy policy development.

Dan Pellissier, executive director for the campaign, will speak at the CMTA Energy Conference on July 28 in South Lake Tahoe.

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