Last Thursday (December 18), the California Public Utilities Commission held a farewell for its president, Michael Peevey, retiring at the end of December after 12 years. The publication sfgate.com said the lovefest was "stage-managed to a T," as the agency's public relations head "instructed staffers to reserve 30 seats at the front" for people sure to heap praise on Peevey. They did. There was no mention of the emails showing that CPUC leaders, including Peevey, have been working sub rosa to assure that Pacific Gas & Electric gets off easy on its negligence leading to the 2010 pipeline explosion that leveled a neighborhood and killed a number of people.
Finally, San Diegan Ray Lutz of Citizens Oversight spoke. He explained that CPUC regulates for-profit utilities — not the municipal utilities. And the for-profits regulated by the CPUC have vastly higher rates than the municipals. For example, San Diego Gas & Electric's residential rates for 1000 kilowatts are $374 a month. Pacific Gas & Electric's are $271 and Southern California Edison's $260. But here are some monthly rates of municipals: Anaheim $183, Riverside $172, Los Angeles $151, and Sacramento $143. As the Reader has revealed, emails show that Peevey has been fixated on profits and stock prices of the for-profit utilities.