The California Supreme Court on October 22 refused to rehear The Utility Reform Network?s argument that the deal the California Public Utilities Commission and Southern California Edison reached behind closed doors violated the state?s open-meeting and rate-setting laws. ?Today?s landmark decision should clear the path for the federal court to uphold our settlement in its entirety,? said John Bryson, Edison chair. ?They must be pulling out the champagne in Rosemead,? said Mike Florio, TURN senior attorney. Mindy Spatt, TURN spokesperson, said the consumer-unfriendly ruling should be a warning sign to those pushing to bring back deregulation in the governor-elect?s administration. Consumer protections in the state?s deregulation law?the rate freeze and the mandatory 10 percent rate reduction??have been abandoned by the courts, the legislature, and the California Public Utilities Commission,? Spatt said. TURN is considering asking the federal court to rehear its federal law violation claims or may appeal the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. The state high court ruled in favor of the CPUC and Edison on August 21, 2003, and upheld the deal (reached in October 2001) that allowed the utility to collect $3.6 billion for high energy costs incurred during the crisis. TURN first went to the Ninth District Court of Appeals, which held in September 2002 that the rate recovery agreement did not violate federal law but sent the matter to the California Supreme Court to address questions of state law. According to Edison?s 8K filing October 23 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the utility recovered the money at the end of July 2002?after the CPUC raised rates by 40 percent.