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Articles and Letters about SMUD Annexation

Critical Articles from the San Jose Mercury News, New York Times and Sacramento Bee, all in one place.

PG&E and SMUD duke it out in an uneven fight for Yolo County's 77,000 ratepayers

Posted on OCTOBER 26, 2006: By Cosmo Garvin

Posted on OCTOBER 26, 2006:By Cosmo Garvin

Editorial: Whose money? Before it was PG&E's, it was customers'
Published 12:00 am PDT Monday, October 23, 2006
Story appeared in EDITORIALS section, Page B4

Competitive Era Fails to Shrink Electric Bills
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON; New York Times; Published: October 15, 2006

Yolo 4 SMUD kicks off one powerful campaign
by Beth Curda/Enterprise staff writer, The Davis Enterprise

Berkshire Buzz: Buffett's Buying; With Annual Meeting Set to Open,
Speculation of a Big Acquisition; Energy Sector? Or Reinsurance?

May 5, 2006; Page C1

Churches in Davis and Sacramento : Electricity Consumption and Cost, June 2005

The Davis Enterprise LAFCO: Yes to SMUD 
By Beth Curda Enterprise staff writer Published: April 21, 2006

The Sacramento Bee: SMUD clears Yolo hurdle
By Terri Hardy -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, April 21, 2006

An informed vote is LAFCO’s goal
By Beth Curda/Enterprise staff writer
Published Apr 19, 2006 - 14:54:44 CDT.
Editor’s note: This is the second of two parts.

Ruling awaited on SMUD vs. PG&E
By Beth Curda/Enterprise staff writer
Editor’s note: This is the first of two parts.

Report backs SMUD expansion
Yolo annexation would save district's customers money, consultant says

By Ed Fletcher -- Bee Staff Writer, Published 2:15 am PST Thursday, March 30, 2006

If SMUD's annexation plan for Yolo County is approved, the municipal utility district's customers stand to save between $165 million and $380 million over 20 years, according to a consultant hired to evaluate the district's proposed expansion.

"It's a win-win for Yolo and (existing) SMUD ratepayers," said Peter Brundage, executive director of the Sacramento County Local Agency Formation Commission, which funded the consultant's report.

Consultant: SMUD annexation would benefit customers
By Ed Fletcher -- Bee Staff Writer Published 5:00 pm PST Wednesday, March 29, 2006

If SMUD's proposed annexation into Yolo County is ultimately approved, the municipal utility district's customers stand to save between $165 million and $380 million over 20 years, according to a consultant hired to evaluate the district's proposed expansion.

Pact eases burden of SMUD shift
By Beth Curda/Enterprise staff writer
A favorite argument of those who want Davis residents and businesses to leave Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and become customers of a neighboring public utility is that they would see cheaper electric bills.

SMUD ranks first in California and fifth in the nation for overall commercial customer
satisfaction, according to the 2006 J.D. Power and Associates study.

Who Will Regulate PoolCo -- the FBI?
By Eugene P. Coyle March 15, 1995 
Public Utilities Reports, INC.

Petitions spur suspicions  -  Possible forgeries cloud a vote on SMUD annexation
By Ed Fletcher -- Bee Staff Writer 
Published 2:15 am PST Friday, February 17, 2006 Story appeared in Metro section, Page B1

Elections officials suspect "some instances of fraudulent signatures" in the petitions filed to force a June vote among SMUD customers on whether the public-power utility should expand into Yolo County.

Signatures in question for utility initiative
By Beth Curda/Enterprise staff writer
Published Feb 17, 2006 - 16:10:17 CST. 

An elections official suspects fraud in a petition drive to force a vote of Sacramento utility customers concerning a pending annexation of part of Yolo County.

Registrar suspects fraud in PG&E-funded initiative drive
SMUD Annexation Updates: February 16, 2006

After evaluating a sample of signatures from a Pacific Gas & Electric-sponsored petition drive,
the Sacramento County Registrar's office said this week that it will submit the petitions to the
Secretary of State's Fraud Division for investigation.

Signatures questioned in PG&E's quest for Yolo ballot initiative
Celia Lamb Staff writer Sacramento Business Journal Thursday February 16th 2006

A campaign financed by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to challenge the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's proposed annexation of Yolo County may have garnered some fraudulent signatures.

Some impacts of SMUD under review
By MONICA KRAUTH/Democrat staff Writer Daily Democrat

The environmental and economic impacts of the SMUD annexation are currently under review by the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission.

PG&E antes up in SMUD battle
A group funded by the utility's parent has spent almost $500,000 to fight the Yolo annexation.

Setting it straight: A story Wednesday on Metro Page B1 misidentified the political action committee supporting the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's plan to annex Yolo County as SMUD Customers Say Yes to Annexation. The committee is SMUD Customers Say Yes to Low Rates.

By Robert D. Dávila -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Story appeared in Metro section, Page B1

PG&E releases annex figures
But utility says they have no relevance to cost of SMUD's Yolo plan
By Robert D. Dávila -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Friday, February 3, 2006. Story appeared in Metro section, Page B1

"The dispute is over the proper method to set a fair market value for PG&E's poles, lines and substations in the area the Sacramento Municipal Utility District wants to annex."

PG&E to Settle Water Contamination Suits
By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , 02.04.2006, 07:00 AM 
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Friday agreed to pay $295 million to settle a series of lawsuits alleging the utility sickened hundreds of people by contaminating the water in three California counties. 

Court Revives $4.6B Claim Against PG&E
By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , 01.10.2006, 05:10 PM 
A federal appeals court on Tuesday cleared the way for California to seek $4.6 billion that the state's attorney general alleges was illegally transferred from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to its corporate parent before the power utility's 2001 bankruptcy. 

State sues PG&E's parent company. Attorney general claims ratepayers were defrauded
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer, Firday, January 11, 2002

High Stakes in Yolo energy fight: Annexstion plan gives SMUD chance to expand, while PG&E stands to lose substantial base.
By Robert D. D'avila - Bee Staff Writer Published Jan 22, 2006

SMUD steps up annex attempt in Yolo Public hearings held to consider power district
By BEN ANTONIUS/Democrat Staff Writer Article created: 01/20/2006 09:01:43 AM

Hands across the river; the case for joining SMUD
by Mariko Yamada --Special to the Enterprise

SMUD raises estimate of Yolo annexation savings
Celia Lamb Sacramento Business Journal - 3:45 PM PST Wednesday

SMUD sees bigger savings
by Beth Curda Enterprise Staff Writer Published Wednesday January 18, 2006

SMUD ups Yolo windfall figure; New forecast: $404 million in benefits for ratepayers
By Robert D. Dávila -- Bee Staff Writer Published 2:15 am PST Wednesday, January 18, 2006

LAFCO begins hearings on SMUD annexation of portions of Yolo County.
Daily Democrat Online Jan 16th 2006

Hot Talk, interview with Dan Berman;  
by Nick Budnick; Sacramento News & Review March 20th 1997

Montana Public Power still wants NorthWestern deal
Reuters Tuesday Dec 20, 2005

CPUC Approves Aggregators
The California Public Utilities Commission cut the ribbon this week on allowing community-choice aggregators to purchase their own power. By Chris Raphael

Massachusetts cable TV will air environmental show featuring Municipal Utilities
Lexington Minuteman Article Nov 23, 2005

SMUD ponders vote
Article in the Sacramento Bee Jan 12th by Robert D'Avila

SMUD: What's not to like? (2 Pages).    (1 Page Version)
Six simple reasons SMUD is better that PG&E. Flyer by Dan Berman

Judge tosses PG&E suit against SMUD
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly today dismissed a lawsuit that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) filed in November against SMUD and the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo). 
SMUD News Release January 13th 2006

An energy plan for S.F.
Ed Smeloff, the new energy policy chief at S.F.'s Public Utilities Commission, offers a detailed plan for the city's energy future. A Bay Guardian interview.

Where the sun don't shine
by Bites at the Sacramento News & Review 1-14-2006

SMUD may have two Yolo votes: In reversal, the board looks at an election in Sacramento County on

By Robert D. Dávila -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Saturday, January 7, 2006. Story appeared in Metro section, Page B1

SMUD to share Yolo annexation plans
By Robert D. Dávila -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Story appeared in Metro section, Page B2

SMUD expands its control area
Public Power Weekly Xo. 49 December 12, 2005

PG&E Song, or Write the Check and Shut Up
Playing music takes an immense amount of practise with a variety of gardening tools.
by Carol Denney February 6, 2001

Dear Editors: It's great that the ENTERPRISE included the SMUD annexation in its "Top 10" issues for 2005. But it's really a case of Yolo citizens and their elected leaders against PG&E, rather than SMUD vs. PG&E. 
Dan Berman: 1103 Maple Lane, Davis, CA 95616

Energy: Sparks fly as SMUD seeks to annex Yolo
From the December 30, 2005 print edition: The One to Watch
Celia Lamb Staff Writer

Flyer: PG&E's little secret, 10 Commandments, etc.

Editorial: PG&E's little secret Utility hides from public its Yolo information
Sacramento Bee; Published 2:15 am PST Sunday, December 11, 2005
Story appeared in Forum section, Page E6

Utilities duke it out in quest for Yolo power
SMUD, PG&E argue for and against annexation
By BEN ANTONIUS / Democrat Staff Writer

Townsend, Riamundo has the `No on 9' campaign
From the October 23, 1998 print edition Media & Marketing 
Sacramento Business Journal by Mark Larson

What's in a name? Roll out the Astroturf:manufactured dissent...
By Bites, SN&R Columns - November 24, 2005

PUC backs SMUD move into county
By BEN ANTONIUS/Democrat staff Writer

SMUD wins round in battle with PG&E
Sacramento Business Journal, November 18, 2005

Straight Talk on SMUD plans
Letter to the Editor The Davis Enterprise by Dean T. Newberry

Radio, Newspaper Ads Attack SMUD Yolo Annexation Plan
Written for the web by Jason Kobely, Internet News Producer

November 3rd 2005, Dan Berman

Customer survey praises SMUD, rates PG&E below average
SMUD leads California electric utilities for residential customer satisfaction in the latest J.D. Power and Associates annual survey. 
Sacramento Business Journal

"SMUD is concerned by PG&E's claims..."
California Public Utility Commission President Michael R. Peevey, etal. 
October 23, 2005 LEG 2005-0739
Arlan Orchard, General Counsel SMUD

New PG&E chief sets lofty goals as tries to lead utility to recovery
The San Francisco Chronicle,  Sunday, January 16, 2005 by David Lazarus Editorial: Home disadvantage: Why PG&E wants SMUD vote on expansion
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, October 21, 2005

Power struggle between PG&E, SMUD sparks on Companies present differing estimates of natural gas prices
By CHRISTINA LEE / Aggie Features Writer Posted 10/20/2005

PG&E's playbook
What will happen next in the battle between SMUD and the giant utility? History provides a script.
By Cosmo Garvin, Sacramento News & Review October 12th 

annexation is a ratepayer revolt 
Letter to the Editor, Davis Enterprise 
September 28th, 2005, by Dean T. Newberry

How to Steal an Election!
-Alan Collins, Grassroots IV 23, May 19- June 1, 1976

PG&E says SMUD map is incorrect  
Friday, September 9, 2005; By Beth Curda/Enterprise staff writer

August 22nd 2005, Dan Berman

EXPLOSION ROCKS DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO: Electrical transformer blows up, woman critically burned
Chronicle staff writers Suzanne Herel, Rachel Gordon and Charlie Goodyear; Saturday, August 20, 2005 (SF Chronicle)

-An Interview with Dr. Eugene P. Coyle, Energy Economist; October 20, 2001. 
Interviewed by Dan Berman, Ph.D., October 20, 2001. 

Price Discrimination, Electronic Redlining, And Price Fixing In Deregulated Electric Power
by Eugene P. Coyle 
Report Prepared For The American Public Power Association January, 2000

JD Power and Associates: Press Release; "Electric Utilities Improve Customer Satisfaction", July 21,2005

SMUD: What's Not To Like? By Dan Berman Special to The Enterprise; Published: January 23, 2005

SMUD filed its Sacto LAFCO application on August 1

Customer survey praises SMUD, rates PG&E below average, Published: August 1, 2005

PG&E's Sneak Attack on LAFCO in San Francisco-- Will PG&E pull the same tricks in Sacramento County?

Five Montana Cities Bid For Power-Delivery Business

Subject: Estimated Value of PG&E's Property in the Yolo Annexation Area. June 2, 2005
TO: SMUD staff, directors, Yolo officials, and annexation activists, and others, FROM: Dan Berman

Ratepayers’ Revolt: Why SMUD is Winning in Yolo County by Dan Berman for The Flatlander, Summer 2005,  Davis, California

PG&E Executives Compensation Compared...  Top Executives compensation in 2003 is 16 times more than what it was in 1998,
That is an annual growth rate of 174.5%. During that time these same executives drove the company into bankruptcy!

Phil Marler's letter responding to PG&E flack, John Mabry’s assertion that all this property tax will be lost.

Cities of Davis, Woodland, West Sacramento and Yolo County receive over $1.9 million

“PG&E’s payment of franchise fees, property taxes, and other taxes and fees provide a stable revenue source to support the many important services – police and fire protection, education, public health, and environmental services "

PG&E Ad: "Half a Billion? Go ahead, ask them." 

"Bullshit!" says Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan.

Download the "Bullfeathers" response ad. 

The Coalition asked for the City Council Members responses, here they are.

R.W. Beck found that PG&E's poles and wires are worth from $65 million to $108 million (under $1,500 per customer) rather than the ridiculous PG&E figure of $500 million, which PG&E reps were unable to support under cross-examination by our City Council.

Copy of Joint Resolution requesting SMUD annexation as adopted unanimously by Woodland, Davis and West Sacramento on March 15th and 16th and by Yolo County on April 5th.   

On Wednesday April 6th SMUD staff reported to the Strategic Planning Committee of the SMUD Board of Directors regarding the request for annexation by areas of Yolo county. The staff recommendation was to proceed with annexation. There are substantial benefits to ratepayers on both sides of the river.

Testimony of Rob Ball, 
Woodland Joint Unified School District in support of SMUD Annexation

Yolano  Group Sierra Club
The Yolano Group Sierra Club strongly supports the annexation...
Pam Nieberg and Holly Bishop,  Co-Chairs, Yolano Group Sierra Club

Perspective on PG&E...
Here are some questions that I think puts PG&E's position in perspective:
From: Robert Milbrodt

Yolano Flame Article
Can We Join SMUD? 
By Dan Berman, Coalition for Local Power

BellSouth, Cox Lose Battle Of The Bayous

Final Report; Citizens Task Force on Energy Issues, January 2003

WHO OWNS THE SUN? people, politics, and the struggle for a solar economy, (1996) by Dan Berman and the late John O’Connor can be downloaded on-line at It is also available at local libraries. Especially relevant is chapter 4, “Public Power,” which includes “The Sacramento Municipal Utility District: A Public Power Success Story,” on pp. 87-97(endnotes pp. 270-273). Contact Dan Berman at 530-757-6609 or to buy a signed copy of the book. 

© Copyright Coalition For Local Power
P.O. Box 73523, Davis, CA 95617
Tel: 530 757-6609, Fax: 530 758-8187

Last updated 6-1-2006