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CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR ASKS COMMISSION FOR SECOND CHANCE

It must be pretty humiliating for Gov. Gray Davis to go pleading on his hands and knees, asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to undo what he has wrought.

Davis hates the FERC. It was one of the many entities he tried to blame for his self-inflicted energy crisis last year. Yet now he goes pleading for its benevolence.

Davis wants the FERC to rewrite dozens of long-term contracts that energy providers have with the state - contracts that Davis and his hand-picked team of experts signed off on, entirely on their own volition.

Last year, when energy rates were at their highest and Davis' pollsters told him to avoid blackouts or consumer-rate increases at all costs, he did just that. He authorized long-term contracts worth more than $40 billion, thereby locking California into inflated energy costs for the next two decades.

It was the classic example of cheap politics producing bad policy. And now that it's caught up with him politically (as he seeks a second four-year term), Davis wants a second chance, arguing that it was unfair of electricity producers to take advantage of his opportunism and incompetence. . . .

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