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Pulling the plug – Deregulation fallout

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California’s two biggest electric utilities have scrapped their corporate philanthropy in the face of the state’s mounting energy crisis, the Associated Press reported Feb. 5.

Pacific Gas and Electric, which has handed out $22 million to Northern California causes over the past three years, discontinued its donations indefinitely last month.

And Southern California Edison, which has been a major donor to the arts, education and the environment, also has halted its giving.

Southern California Edison racked up $5 billion in debt between May and January, spokesman Ray Golden told AP.

“At that point we had to do whatever we could to reserve cash,” he said.

The two utilities say they’ve lost $12.7 billion combined in six months and face possible bankruptcy in the face of a cash crisis they blame on the state’s 1996 energy deregulation law that bars them from hiking rates.

The United Way, which received $860,000 from Edison and its employees last year, expects no money this year.

For full story, go to Northernlight.

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