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PG & E Bankruptcy Approches End

Pacific Gas and Electric´s three-year bankruptcy approached its conclusion yesterday, after a federal judge rejected a last-ditch attempt to block a customer-backed bailout.

The judge denied a request by two state energy regulators to keep P-G-and-E in bankruptcy at least another month while the bailout´s opponents pursue various appeals.

The ruling clears the way for the San Francisco-based utility to shed the scarlet letter of bankruptcy on Monday and begin repaying about 12 billion dollars in bills.

P-G-and-E´s finances unraveled as California´s wholesale power costs soared far above the retail prices established as part of a state deregulation law approved in 1996