In trying to work a deal in which Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric could get a $3.3 billion bailout over the failure of the San Onofre nuclear operation, the California Public Utilities Commission broke its own rules, according to consumer advocate Mike Aguirre, who will hold a press conference this morning at 11:30 a.m., 501 W. Broadway, suite 1050. The head of the commission, Michael Peevey, is a former president of Edison.
The commission has refused to identify the names of Edison individuals who were responsible for installing nuclear generators that they allegedly knew were defective, charges Aguirre. Administrative law judges at the commission have stopped investigators from examining internal emails and documents related to the San Onofre failure. The administrative law judges at the commission have delayed legally mandated hearings that would determine if the bailout was legal, Aguirre says, pointing out that in February, U.S. senators Boxer and Markey cited leaked documents showing that Edison executives knew the generators were unsafe.
The average bailout cost per meter is $456, Aguirre says. Critics of the bailout were not alowed to participate in or observe the negotiations that led to a so-called compromise among Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, the Utility Reform Network (TURN), and the commissions Office of Ratepayer Advocates. That so-called compromise led to the $3.3 billion bank-like bailout. The commission has to approve that so-called compromise. TURN has already met with Peevey — at Peevey's request — to tout the giveaway to utilities.