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San Francisco may vote out PG&E Co. in favor of a new public utility

By Sylvie Dale
Online Editor

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 1, 2001 — San Francisco voters will have a chance to change the way electrical power is handled in their area when they vote on two ballot issues this November.

The measures, placed on the ballot as a result of public anger at high electricity prices in California over the last year, would create public power authorities which would seize Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s generation and distribution systems in the city through eminent domain, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The main group backing the ballot measures is MUD Now!, an organization that says public ownership of the electricity systems will increase accountability and lower rates.

PG&E Co. has said it will fight the measures through a public campaign.

Measure I would form an independent municipal utility district, controlled by state law. Measure F would change the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission into a city water and power agency.

The measures would take two years to complete the transition of power.