Developments are being closely monitored, as industry leaders and other cities believe that if Long Beach terminates the franchise deal with Edison, other cities might be tempted to follow suit. Edison, which has 4.3 million customers in Southern California, has exclusive franchise agreements with 25 other cities. Long Beach would be the first California city in more than 50 years to create its own electricity supplier. „A lot of other cities have watched it,“ said Stu Wilson of California Municipal Assn. in Sacramento. Whenever there is dissatisfaction with the service, the prices charged by utilities or the amount of the deductible, city officials wonder if they can start their own refueling business, Wilson said. But he said, „There`s a little bit of risk in the business,“ so few people have taken over. For his first initiative, he chose a doozy. Why not buy Edson`s nearly 100-year-old monopoly franchise in Long Beach, he suggested, and create a city-sponsored energy company? Benjamin Ruiz Jr., acting director of the Tulare County Resource Management Agency, said the contract`s money rate is set by state rules and accounts for 2 percent of SCE`s gross annual revenue from the use of the franchise. RMA administrators recommended the 25-year term.
However, Councillor H. Delano Roosevelt sees nothing but good in conversations, as he expects the city to receive far more for its frankness than it receives today. „Whoever ends with this, and it may very well be Edison, we win,“ he said. The Southern California Edison Company will continue to operate as the county`s electricity franchise. The agreement with tulare County resembles the agreement with Kings, Fresno and Kern counties, Ruiz said. After heated debates, the Council opened the barn door and invited other energy companies by refusing to sign the exclusive agreement with Enron and City Light, which had already formed a business unit, the first customer of Long Beach Power and Distribution Co. Long Beach – a partnership between Enron Corp. and City Light and Power Inc., Denver-based, which manages Long Beach`s streetlights — has already promised a franchise fee of $8 million more per year than the city now receives from Edison. The contest was triggered by an escape clause in Long Beach`s exclusive 60-year contract with Edison, signed in 1971. As part of the deal, Long Beach can acquire Edison`s distribution system in the city and create a municipal power plant similar to that of Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena and Anaheim.
Edison`s leaders felt betrayed by what was perceived as a backdoor attempt to remove their franchise. Government affairs specialists from some of the world`s largest energy companies flooded the Council`s offices on the 14th floor of City Hall, where they meet in the ritual of the great money hunt on occasion. Supervisor Steve Worthley said he doubted SCE had seen a decline. Among those who sticked to the guides was David Freeman, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. With its rural charm in full bloom, Freeman congratulated Long Beach leaders at last Tuesday`s City Council meeting and said he would like to partner with Long Beach. Taboada acknowledges that he may have unnecessarily irritated the Council. . Taboada said one of the reasons he hesitated to open the process was fear of Edson`s political and public relations muscles. „The South Gate once considered communitalization. They were crushed like an insect before they even moved away from the ground,“ he said. For the outside world, COVID-19 statistics may be little more than numbers, but in Southern California hospitals, conditions are rapidly worsening. .