TAKE HEED REGARDING ELECTRIC UTILITY DEREGULATION -- (House of Representatives - September 06, 2000)

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   (Mr. FILNER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

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   Mr. FILNER. Madam Speaker, I returned home, like all of my colleagues, to my district in August. And what did I find in my hometown of San Diego? In a word, disaster.

   San Diego is the first area of California to fully deregulate its electrical utility industry. The result is that in just 3 months the double and tripling of electrical rates by the price-gouging electrical generators; seniors on fixed incomes wondering whether to turn up their air conditioning or pay for their medicines; small businesses wondering how long they can hold out; hospitals, libraries, youth centers, schools, the military, all their budgets thrown into turmoil.

   While the State legislature has just administered a Band-Aid to stop the bleeding, we need stronger and longer-lasting action. I am asking the House today to pass legislation to roll back the wholesale rates for electricity in the western region and roll those back retroactively. Those who have gouged our consumers for more than $350 million in the last 3 months should pay the bill for their actions.

   We need to take this action now. So, my colleagues, welcome back, but look closely at San Diego. We are the poster children for the nation. Many of my colleagues have deregulation bills in their States and we have deregulation bills on our floor. Deregulation cannot work when the basic commodity is controlled by monopolies. Take heed, Congress.