San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson are vehemently protesting another move by the California Public Utiliities Commission (CPUC) to fleece ratepayers over the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant.
They note in a document that will be filed Monday (May 5) that over a period of nine months, the CPUC's Office of Ratepayer Advocates, the Utility Reform Network (TURN), Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric hammered out a compromise on how ratepayers and shareholders would split the cost of closing the faciility.
The result of the alleged compromise was shocking: ratepayers will pick up $3.3 billion of the tab. (Shareholders, not ratepayers, should pay for management blunders.)
But after the nine months of discussions, the CPUC will hold a review of the facts and circumstances in one day — yes, one day, on May 14. And opponents, who are fighting to protect ratepayers, will have only one hour and 15 minutes to examine how the $3.3 billion burden was arrived at.
Here is an example of what utilities are getting away with: Aguirre and Severson asked Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric how much they have already recovered from their investment in San Onofre. Reply: they have recovered $4.14 billion in depreciation and amortization. Also, Edison has recovered additional amounts from ratepayers for asset requirements and nuclear fuel.
"It would require extensive study to quantify such amounts," complains Edison. Such a burden would be "unduly burdensome."
So, how can utilities justify another $3.3 billion on top of $4.14 billion if they refuse to do their homework? It's the rape of the ratepayers.