California Governor Gray Davis says heÂ´s gratified by a State Supreme Court ruling that utility regulators legally approved huge electricity rate hikes during the energy crisis of 2001.
A consumer group, The Utility Reform Network, said the Public Utilities Commission had broken the law by settling a lawsuit with Southern California Edison behind closed doors.
Davis supported the agreement by which the PUC extended a year-old temporary rate hike for another two years to help Edison pay its debts.
Edison amassed billions in debts when wholesale electricity prices went far above frozen retail rates.
Davis says by clearing the commissionÂ´s action, the court has ensured Edison rate reductions can go forward. But, the Reform Network says that ignores the $3 billion consumers paid Edison during the extended rate hike.