asking for more money, they want to make the rates higher, and we
feel that the people should know what's going on."
But a Gas Co. official said Cruz and the other protesters at the
local office, as well other Gas Co. sites around Southern California,
were the ones who could use the education.
The flier distributed by Cruz and other protesters focused on an
$18-million lawsuit filed by the Port of Seattle against Sempra and
other utility companies. A U.S. District Court judge dismissed the
lawsuit in May, Gas Co. spokesman Richard Beamish said.
As for rate hikes, Beamish said the only rate change in the works
right now would lower gas rates by about 1%. The rate decrease is
part of a settlement plan the Gas Co. reached with the Office of Rate
Payer Advocates, and is pending the California Public Utilities
"It's strange if they're protesting against rate hikes and
distributing this flier," Beamish said.
Cruz, a construction worker who graduated from Glendale High
School in 1995, and the other protesters asked residents to fill out
a form indicating support for the Committee for Safe and Responsible
Utilities. Officials at the committee's headquarters did not return