Current Shock

A California Rate Revolt

To the company's shareholders, the initials PG&E stand for Pacific Gas & Electric, the largest U.S. commercial supplier of electricity. But more and more of the California utility's customers prefer "Piggish, Greedy and Egotistic" instead. In recent months residents from Oregon to the Mexican border have been hit with unimaginably steep jumps in their electric bills.

In the Northern California town of Orland, Donna Marley, 40, a widow, saw her December electric bill of $87 leap to $210 in a month. Neighbors Barney and Verna Cushman were shocked when their December bill of $360 surged to $624 in January....

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