A bold ruling by Imperial County Superior Court Judge Donal Donnelly should help CalEnergy's finances, and that should help Imperial County in countless ways.
Edison has not paid CalEnergy in five months. Donnelly ruled that a contract between CalEnergy and Southern California Edison could be suspended to allow CalEnergy to send its power to companies that will — what a novel idea! — pay CalEnergy.
Edison lawyers tried to argue that the matter should be in the hands of the state Public Utilities Commission, but Donnelly ruled there was no precedent for that and came back with his decision. Waiting on a PUC decision might have resulted in CalEnergy going bankrupt, which essentially would be punishing the innocent party in this case.
While Donnelly's ruling is a grand one for Imperial County, because CalEnergy is a major employer in the Imperial Valley and its property taxes and property royalties prop up the county, we are convinced that Donnelly's ruling had nothing to do with provinciality and everything to do with law.