Public power agencies are keeping a close watch on two bills during the Legislature?s final stretch that would affect the way they do business, including their ability to expand. One deals with the issues of allocation of exit fees, and the other focuses on resource-adequacy requirements. AB 426 by Assemblymember Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) would prohibit the California Public Utilities Commission from assessing exit fees or other costs on municipal agency customers who had never received power from an investor-owned utility. Munis do not want the issue decided by the commission, which is seen as placing interests of private utilities?over which it has jurisdiction?ahead of concerns held by public agencies. This week, the bill was amended and several coauthors from the Senate and Assembly were added to increase the chances of its passage, particularly in the Assembly. Last July, the CPUC ruled that where new muni load is associated with customers in previously undeveloped sites, those customers are not responsible for departing surcharges if the muni agency was providing service on or before February 1, 2001. The commission will also decide which muni customers should help pay off part of Pacific Gas & Electric?s bankruptcy bill. Surcharges on new muni customers for agencies that have annexed undeveloped parcels, such as Roseville Electric, would drive up the public power costs. PG&E and the two other private utilities in the state assert they bought power on behalf of the customers that will be served by those greenfield developments. However, the Department of Water Resources and investor-owned utilities ?forecasted growth, but they also forecasted loss of load due to a variety of factors, including municipalization,? states an analysis by the Senate Rules Committee. AB 426 could come up for a vote on the Senate floor on August 20. The other bill, AB 2499 by Assemblymember Jerome Horton (D-Inglewood), would extend resource-adequacy requirements imposed on private utilities to new public power agencies. Munis see the measure as another move to infringe on their independence despite the fact that they, unlike their private counterparts, did not renege on their obligation to serve during the energy crisis.