HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4011
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Representatives Morris, Berkey, Conway, Santos, Veloria, McIntire, Dickerson, Kenney, D. Schmidt, Jackley and Fromhold
Read first time 02/19/2001. Referred to Committee on Finance.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, Wholesale prices of electricity have soared to unprecedented levels, reaching as high as thirty times the prices of a year ago; and
WHEREAS, The impact of California's energy shortage is having detrimental impact on Washington consumers, businesses, and utilities; and
WHEREAS, The California, Oregon, and Washington Attorneys General recently launched investigations into allegations of collusion, price manipulation, unfair business practices, and other violations; and
WHEREAS, Wholesale natural gas prices quadrupled nationally last year, which translates into roughly a 50 percent increase in retail prices, and as much as 70 percent for some Washington ratepayers; and
WHEREAS, California enacted a disastrous deregulation scheme in 1996 that required investor-owned utilities to sell off much of their generating capacity and barred them from long-term energy contracts; and
WHEREAS, Freed by deregulation to charge whatever the market would bear, some companies racked up as much as 700 percent profits over the previous summer; and
WHEREAS, The Securities and Exchange Commission filings by some power generators indicate their quarterly profits were 15 to 20 times greater than they were for the same period a year ago; and
WHEREAS, In a year that saw the Dow Jones industrial average fall nearly 5 percent, power companies reported returns to investors approaching 60 percent;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the United States Congress support and work to pass a tax on windfall profits on energy producers and return these funds to affected states to mitigate high energy costs.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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