PG&E biggest spender on lobbying in California

April 26, 2010

California companies spent more than $66 million lobbying state officials and Congress during the first quarter of 2010–and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is at the top of the list. [California Watch]

The report, maintained by the U.S. Senate, shows that PG&E was by far the largest spender on lobbying efforts, dropping $25.8 million, nearly all of it went to supporting Proposition 16. The initiative, on the June ballot,  would require two-thirds of local residents to approve the creation of new electricity districts.

There was a huge drop off between first place and the runners-up. Other California companies on the lobbying list include Chevron ($3 million), Oracle ($1.2 million), and DirecTV ($620,000). Rounding out the Top Five was Nissan North America ($610,000).

Way back in the pack on the lobbying list was the Port San Luis Harbor District ($10,000).

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Where’s the Public Utilities Commission? Someone should throw this in the PUC and PG&E’s face the next time PG&E goes for a rate hike. Subtract the amount of our money they spend on lobbyists and buying influence from any rate increase they might ask for.

Make them pay for their political influence peddling out of theirs and their stock holders’ pockets. Do that and the shareholders might pitch a fit real quick and maybe put a stop to this BS.

Just to make you feel better, all of PG&E’s lobbying is paid for by the shareholders, not the rate payers. The amount of money that is considered “profit” that would go to shareholders, some of it is held back to pay for these types of things.

I support workers, the everyday Joe and Jolene who make things, supply our services and in turn then support the manufacturing and services we all enjoy. They pay taxes (unlike many ultra rich people corporations who hire fancy accountants to find loopholes for them and lobby our legislatures to create more loopholes). All unions create their own jobs by hiring union officials and organizers-those are real jobs-to promote unions and the rank and file who comprise their membership.

Like everyone else here I am a prisoner of laws, loopholes, offshore flight of companies and other issues that limit my options when choosing what to buy. I strongly support vegetarianism, yet I have a leather belt. Any more dumb questions?

This isn’t a perfect world, but we can strive to make it better by returning power to the people, creating a level playing field in sports, healthcare, business and politics. We have little of that now, and it is getting worse. Even the idiot tea party fools need health care, representative government and fair taxes-yet they are herded around by big business to do their ‘dirty work’ in hounding the few good legislators we have left. The amerikan taliban (fundamentalist christians) and other right wing whackos (limbo, hannity etc) have made a fortune by swaying well intentioned but misguided citizens-history will look back on our society over the last 30 years with wonderment and a shaking head.

What this all boils down to is most of us want the same thing, sensible rules that allow us to live in peace without ruining the planet so future generations will have something left for them. The current racism and vitriol coming stemming from secretive plotting by big business interests and power loving politicians is doing great damage to our democracy.

I will not be voting in line with PG&E. They are a monopoly who want to retain control of a public resource rather than allow individuals to supplement their own needs.

Unions were good at one time and they were a necessary support for the working class people. They have since become a greedy detriment to everyone, including those that they represent, as 1000’s of union jobs have gone overseas. The worst is the union’s organized by the public service sectors. We tax payers never should have allowed public servants to unionize. I’d like to privatize every public service sector that is feasible. Dump their unions and then redefine those positions with a fixed salary. Those positions would be filled easily.

It is fair to say many union practices have gone too far. Jimmy Hoffa was a bum, a creep of the worst kind. Using unions to bolster his own power. But the concept is valid, and many times necessary to protect workers from ghastly conditions. The same holds for government regulation, the concept is good but the devil is in the details. How many of the readers are Ok with losing yet another 29 miners or so in the coal mine disaster, maybe because the corporation was allowed to get away with ignoring safety concerns? I wonder what role the regulators, corporation-and union had in somehow enabling this sordid affair; or was it just an unfortunate accident? And the workers on the oil platform that we lost- I’ll bet their relatives are not or will no longer be teabag dupes.

It is only right and fair to have some expectation of safety in our workplace, homes, air, water and food. The government if finally going after the food companies that have been feeding us junk for so many years-too much salt, too much sugar, too much fat. How do you all like seeing the fat people waddling around our communities? How do you like seeing 80lb 6 year old kids struggling with asthma, diabetes and other diseases in our supposedly modern and terrific healthful society.

I hope others will join with Cindy and vote against this cynical attempt to corner the energy market by our corporate monopoly.

hotdog, job safety doesn’t have so much to do with union protections as it does with insurance company’s. The Fed requires all employers to carry Workman’s Compensation Insurance. These insurance company’s set industry safety standards very high. Jobs are rated according to hazard and charged accordingly. The WC insurance co.s identify any and all danger’s right down to a crack in the floor that someone could trip on and require safety features on all jobs. They also return and do periodic inspections to confirm that all safety features are not just provided but in use at all times. What ever went wrong with the above work related tragedies has nothing to do with strong or weak union representation.

I urge all to check out this latest comment on Big Business response to safety concerns:

I would think the insurance companies would be concerned as Cindy points out but we never seem to hear from them or about them at times like this. But it seems to me a basic fact of corps-they don’t give a damn about worker safety. It is usually cheaper to pay some reparations later than create a safe workplace-that hardly works for the dead and injured workers. If unions have become less useful than they were meant to be then they should be cleaned up and operated better, but the basic concept is sound. Without them who will speak for the workers?

It is ironic as hell that most of the teabag fools need healthcare, safe work conditions, safe and healthy food, safe cars and tires-and on and on. Yet they scream for the blood of those who strive to bring these things to them. As said before, they are dupes of the corporate interests.

“They are a monopoly who want to retain control of a public resource…” Hmmm, I’m trying to wrap my head around the idea of this being a public resource. Is that the same as Cable TV and Phone Service being public resources? All of these companies (Cable, Phone, Power), like it or not, are out to make money. I feel more ripped off by the cable company than anyone. Come on, $90 a month to watch 200 crappy channels with nothing but lame programming telling me what to buy next and what to think, and what to eat. My PG&E bill is $40 a month and my beer is always cold. Now that’s money well spent! :)

WOW! I love the spin. All union’s create their own jobs. Hmm lets see. If you didn’t have union workers, working for large corporations, paying union dues, you wouldn’t have union jobs or union suits. FACT!!

That said I am going to vote against this PG&E bill because I think it will limit possible competition in the future, not because I am scared of big business. Competition (what liberals are afraid of) is what is good in the end.

Second just as people bash unions and there are some things they do that are good, same here. If you want Solar, Wind energy and Wave energy in the future where do you think it will come from? And for Gods sake don’t say Govt. They don’t develop this kind of tecnology and don’t even try to use N.A.S.A. as an example because AGAIN it is private business (like it or not) that provides the goods the money for development etc.

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

So let me see if I have this straight. The people that work for G.M., Ford, Wal-Mart etc., they all put there labor first before the company existed?? Nice try. Banks loan money, business borrow money and build and then create jobs, labor gets paid and makes money for said business, it goes back into investment, and the wheels keep on a spinning but sorry labor is NOT at the top of the pyramid. It is a result of.

“Abraham Lincoln “

Did they have a lot of big business in his days? Heck the Carinegies, Vanderbilts, Morgan’s etc wouldn’t come along till at least a few decades later. The industrial revolution (which would later be some of the biggest producers of your first union jobs) didn’t start till the early 1900’s.

How are you sure he wasn’t referring to big slave owning landowners which, hmm at that time, WAS their big business. Horrible comparison.

Remember dear California, PG&E does not, and never has had the citizens best interest at heart, not unless you are a stock holder.

You would be wise to vote anything supported by PG&E DOWN.

You won’t though, It’s all about catch-phrases and no attention span.

You are soooo screwed.

Get over it, Sally. PG&E collects dues from ALL of us. Only we get no say so in the actions they take. The damage is done to California, period. The way out is to pick up the check from 20 years of living on bonds and credit instead of paying taxes as we spent/went. Looking for a government worker or an illegal to blame won’t solve anything.

This state would not have a budget problem if all state, county, and city employees had the same salary and benefits that compare to the rest of the private employees have.

Sally, You are absolutely correct. It is the public employees and their unions that are draining the system. We never should have allowed unions into the public sector. Somehow they think they deserve to live so much better than the people they serve. I say privatize where ever feasible and get the pigs snouts out of the public coffers.

The report only includes businesses. Business like PG&E lobby on issues that are specific to them, the unions band together as a block, and they control through campaign donations.

If you go against the union block they will target your district and flood it with money.

The elected officials live in fear of the unions.

We all know who controls California, the unions. The public employee unions, the nurses unions, SEIU, the teachers unions……ect.

All of these unions lobby and spend as a block and they make the total of corporate contributions look like a small drop in the bucket.

So let me ask you how has this system worked out so far? How has anyone but the unions prospered?

We need more corporate money, maybe we can then make a change.


I wonder about the veracity of that.

Does the report include unions as companies? Or are unions tabulated in a different table. And if so, how do we compare money spent by individual unions to money spent by individual companies?

Sally, you are wrong. We all don’t know unions control everything. But in fact unions are bunches of people with jobs that do things for us. Corporations are entities that fight for more profit and power, mostly for their execs. I would support any union over any corporation anytime.

Answer me a question Hotdog. You don’t like Corp. but love Unions. So what job does a union pay for and supply??

Is your money where your mouth is, Hotdog? By that I mean are the things in your home union-built, or does your television, computer, clock radio, footwear, clothing, etc. come from China?

Sally, what we need is a better informed electorate. Maybe with all the unemployed sitting home, perhaps they will take the time to be better informed. So who do the PG&E lobbyists give most of their money too? Certainly not the republicans who can do nothing! Look to the liberal democrats and their union buddies who have created our high electric costs.