• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

A securities fraud lawsuit has been filed in federal court in San Diego against Edison International, parent of Southern California Edison. The suit alleges that Southern California Edison made false and misleading statements about the company's business, operational, and compliance policies — thus endangering the utility-favoring settlement on dividing up the costs of the San Onofre nuclear plant decommissioning.

The suit by a Wilmington, Delaware law firm, Andrews & Springer, zeroes in on the recent finding by a California Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge that Southern California Edison must show why it should not be held in contempt of the regulatory commission for telling untruths about how the San Onofre settlement plan was secretly worked out.

Andrews & Springer says that Edison's meetings with commission decision-makers were more extensive than the company reported; that the belated admission of secret sessions jeopardizes the settlement that is extremely favorable to utilities, and as a result of these disingenuous actions, the company's financial statements were materially false and misleading.

The suit also cites a report by the law firm of Strumwasser & Woocher, arranged by the regulatory commission, describing how the clandestine meetings between Edison and regulators were frequent, pervasive, and sometimes outcome-determinative.

A securities lawsuit may well prove to be important. Thus far, those following the secret trail of Edison and the commission have seen that Edison's case is quite flimsy, but there are legal barriers to getting justice against utilties and the regulatory commission. Edison might not be able to dodge a putative class action securities suit, which may be followed by other similar ones.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


Diogenes Aug. 7, 2015 @ 3:36 p.m.

I saw the shareholder action coming two-and-one half years ago but the information has been effectively withheld. So long as the settlement was favorable, these was no damage to stock prices.

The settlement would further the cover up and shift losses to the ratepayers and to Mitsubishi. Edison tried to sprinkle money around in political donations and "worthy" charities. Edison worked with the PUC. But rhe bad news keeps coming for Edison. Now the shareholders are damaged, not just ratepayers and Mitsubishi.

Security laws were probably violated by false statements in connection with the purchase and sale of a security. I still want to see all the certifications by engineers in connection with operating those reactors. Those are sworn statements, too.

Aguirre told Peevey that there would probably have been indictments if he were still a Deputy Assistant US Attorney. There will now be more discovery about the ROOT CAUSE. Edison has to learn not to mess with San Diego attorneys.

Just when they thought that they were getting away with it....

As soon as those replacement steam generator tubes started to shatter, a loss of coolant event was possible. The reactors were doomed.

When we see the data being withheld, the nature and magnitude of the risks that were taken will be revealed to the public. Edison was "experimenting" with a new design of the replacement steam generators, according to the expert reports I've seen..


Don Bauder Aug. 7, 2015 @ 3:45 p.m.

Diogenes: Edison and the CPUC, working together surreptitiously, have buried many relevant facts. It's possible that the lawyers pressing the fraud suit won't be interested in these particular things, feeling they did not depress the stock price. That would be a shame. Something or somebody has to force that information out of Edison and the commission. Best, Don Bauder


Diogenes Aug. 7, 2015 @ 4:28 p.m.

Root cause of reactor failure is going to be subject to discovery, especially where fraud is concerned. What did you know and when did you know that? When did you first know that the design of the replacement steam generators tubes would not work? Did you inform the shareholders? Was this problem discussed in the annual report?


Don Bauder Aug. 7, 2015 @ 5:02 p.m.

Diogenes: Why did you arrange to concoct an illegal escape route with one regulator, the CPUC, but fail to inform another regulator, the SEC? Best, Don Bauder


Diogenes Aug. 7, 2015 @ 9:54 p.m.

Don Bauder,

That is right! Exactly. But they can't cover every base. The other shoe fell. You have to admire Aguirre & Severson, Lutz and Langely and all the activists.

This will help reform the CPUC. When Gavin Newsome is Governor, I can reason with him, hopefully. Governor Brown - you know the story about his relationship with Peevey and the utility companies. He failed to intervene. We tried him back in 2013. No use.

You have written about the recent failure of the legislature to reform the CPUC. Maybe an initiative on the ballot is needed. Democrats receive political contributions from these private utilities. When they leave office, there is a nice job sitting on the Board of Directors over at Sempra waiting. Just like Republicans.

The lobbyists claimed that there has never been judicial review of the CPUC. So what? That's why they can get away with all this. Time to change all that.

Thanks for covering this issue, Don.


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 6:33 a.m.

Diogenes: Much of the blame for this whole debacle lies with Gov. Brown. He stayed with his long-time friend Peevey even as waves of muck surfaced. After Peevey "retired," Brown named Picker, who is cut from the same cloth as Peevey: political hack.

Edison is clearly lying as it tries to describe what went on. There is no doubt that Peevey, some other CPUC officials, and Edison planned the rape of the ratepayer secretly then plotted the coverup. An alert governor would have said: "No more!" Brown won't do that.

Brown apparently thinks this is not serious enough to hurt him politically. He is wrong. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 7:45 a.m.

Right ON, bro! And you worked in a highly sophisticated (if there is such a thing) pun to boot!

You are still The Champ.


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:40 p.m.

Twister: Who's the champ? Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:18 a.m.

"Thou art wise, and Thou didst not learn from any other than Thyself, / nor acquire wisdom from another." (See http://www.tau.ac.il/~tsurxx/CIM.html )


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:41 p.m.

Twister: Who's the wise guy -- or gal? Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:26 a.m.

All fiefdoms should be eliminated or transformed into elected bodies, which are problematic enough, just being another trough from which to feed the already money-bloated. At least avoid a setup that preordains unaccountable despots.


PS: Might any of the TV scandal-mongers like Frontline be interested in this nascent scandal?


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:43 p.m.

Twister: I hope so. It involves both private and public sector misbehavior. Best, Don Bauder


AlexClarke Aug. 8, 2015 @ 6:18 a.m.

All investor owned utilities should be seized and placed in the hands of the ratepayer. Utilities should not be for profit they should be non-profit set up for the benefit of the ratepayer. All members of the CPUC should be fired and prosecuted along with the senior management of all the involved utility companies.


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 6:36 a.m.

AlexClarke: At least, someone should THREATEN to seize the investor-owned utilities. That might wake up Gov. Brown to the seriousness of this imbroglio. Customers of those utilities pay far higher rates than customers of municipal utilities. In the present economic environment, those high rates hurt. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:45 p.m.

Twister: Californians use their electricity less than other locales, but the high rates are still harmful. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 6:40 a.m.

Vinod Arora: The concerned scientists are right: no one has given a coherent explanation of what went wrong. There is no coherent explanation. That is why the CPUC and Edison managed to go ahead with the ratepayer rape without the examination that is required by law. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 7:52 a.m.

I hope there're no statutes of limitations on these crimes. Hell may frieze over before any "justice" is done. The punishment should fit the crime, and if actual and punitive damages are awarded, the ratepayers may have to take over. Air, water, and energy should not be "owned" by anybody, least of all a soulless corporation (aka criminal gang on steroids).

Tar and feathers may be too good for the criminals. But there are a lot of lifers looking for new boy friends . . .


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:04 a.m.

Twister: I don't believe that there would be a statute of limitations on events in this lawsuit. As a result of the truths that have emerged thus far, there is no doubt that Edison should be hit with a massive fine -- one in the billions of dollars that can't be passed to taxpayers. There must be a total housecleaning of both the CPUC and Edison, and perhaps SDG&E. More than one individual should be incarcerated. Neither Edison executives nor CPUC bureaucrats should get any retirement benefits upon their dismissal. Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Aug. 8, 2015 @ 7:25 a.m.

SCE Caused A Nuclear Near-Miss At San Onofre

The San Onofre Replacement Steam Generator (RSG) Project was designed by a team of both MHI and SCE engineers with SCE having the final say and it was their licensed CA Engineers that put their "chop" on them, which means that SCE "designed" them, the rest is finger pointing. In fact SCE told MHI that everything about the project was to be approved by them first and that HMI was not to talk to anybody including the NRC without getting the OK from SCE.

This was done in order to get the RSG's built quickly without a full NRC 50.90 review which would have included a public review process.. By using the NRC 50.59 process (aka Like-For-Like) SCE told the NRC and everyone else that it was going to be an identical exchange, so no technical reviews were required. We now know this was false and can even point out a nuclear industry trade article where SCE's engineer and a MHI engineer bragged about all the changes they made, anyone of which should have required a full 50.90 review. NRC Region IV that OK'd this 50.59 replacement got all kinds of egg on their face and it pointed out that their NRC inspectors were too cozy with SCE, since the RSG failed soon after being installed, thanks to both their faulty unproven design and also how they were being operated by SCE!

Improving like-for-like RSGs


The operation of these RSG's outside their NRC approved specifications will be THE KEY issue that will convince everyone that their failure is completely SCE fault (since ratepayers had nothing to do with their operation) and everyone knows what operating "over the red line means"!



CaptD Aug. 8, 2015 @ 7:25 a.m.

Cont 2

Another reason why SCE must turn over their operational records is that the data will prove that SCE's operators were "experimenting" by adjusting the operational parameters in an attempt to figure out how to get the RSG to work without them causing internal "noises". In fact the 9,747 steam generator tubes tightly packed inside each of the RSG were striking each other and/or their supports as the tubes vibrated, causing "tube wear". This was very dangerous because if one or more tubes failed the high pressure radioactive reactor core coolant inside them would "flash" to steam and escape into the atmosphere! The NRC still assumes that not more than a single tube can fail at a time, which San Onofre proved is an invalid assumption since after the entire RSG system was shut down, a number of tubes failed in situ (in-place) testing. Until the "root cause" of San Onofre is determined other US steam generator may also be at risk, since a "cascade" of tube failures could easily vent so much of the reactor coolant, so fast from the reactor core, that it could cause a meltdown of the reactor!

Having followed this closely since 01/31/12, I can say that we were very, very lucky to not have had a nuclear incident and/or even a nuclear accident at San Onofre despite all the "feel good" talk from SCE. If the "leak" had occurred during a large earthquake along with some other things, while both Unit 2 and Unit 3 were online, we could have had a SoCal Fukushima, which would have easily exceeded the Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster Japan is now dealing with!

Parts of the above posted: http://m.sandiegoreader.com/news/2015/aug/06/ticker-judge-spanks-edison/#c190175 And http://www.energybiz.com/article/15/08/judge-california-utility-held-improper-nuclear-plant-talks#comment-15031


Ponzi Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:51 p.m.

Engineer change the surface area of boiler pipe to water from the new steam condenser could increase steam yield. That would permit reducing rod exposure to the core, extending rod life and reducing the frequency of spent rods. They were looking at anything they could do to extend the life of the reactor as well as try to mitigate the spent rod storage issue. They failed at both by trying to engineer on the fly. The reason we don't hear a lot from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is because Japanese business operate differently than Americans (and Europeans..), they are still honorable, honest and have (in the majority) integrity. If they are brought to talk, they will throw SCE under the bus. That's why it is crucial that to bring all the facts out, a journalist needs to ask for information from MHI. That is where the bones are buried.


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:47 p.m.

Ponzi: It is in Mitsubishi's interest to tell the truth. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:09 a.m.

CaptD: Yes, Edison should be fined for its false claim that it was a like-for-like exchange. It clearly was not. I agree that Edison was the guilty party. Its claim that Mitsubishi was at fault has always been disingenuous -- typical for Edison. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 2:18 p.m.

If somebody like Rickover had been in charge, there would have been a blizzard of minority reports.

THEORETICALLY, if licensed engineers were putting the chop on anybody--bye-bye license! That means they felt safe.

This has "suit" dominance written all over it. Remember the Challenger? The engineers were overridden by MBA types. Conditions were out of spec for launch. Even after the exposure by Feynman, it was BAU. Murder, fraud, and theft.

You just can't keep out the clowns anymore. An MBA is a license to be incompetent. Clever? Yes. Whore yoreself? Absolutely. No "Boy Scouts" allowed!


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:49 p.m.

Twister: Don't leave anything to MBAs. Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Aug. 8, 2015 @ 7:28 a.m.

Until ALJ Darling overturns the entire settlement and recuses herself, she will not only remain part of the problem but will remain tainted by #SanOnofreGate *.

If she on the other hand, she does indeed overturn the entire settlement and also recuses herself, then she will be seen as someone that got caught up in the discussions with SCE (who then tried to maneuver her into limiting the "reasonableness" investigation of SCE's operation of San Onofre) by holding her own ex parte conversations "over her head" if she did not play along with SCE.

Now by hitting back at SCE (by deciding to "sanction" SCE for dubious statements of its executives) she is attempting to distance herself from those that did have ex parte "meetings versus all those that had ex parte "conversations". This action will buy her some time in order for her to "see how the dust settles" and she can always later recuse herself if it looks like things are going poorly for her, regarding her "involvement".

I believe this is just the first of many well calculated maneuvers we will see as all those involved in #SanOnofreGate try their best to sidestep being held in any way responsible for either impeding Justice and/or the "raping" of millions of SoCal ratepayers for anywhere from 3 to 7 BILLION dollars, depending upon what is counted!

The other "wild card" is the ongoing investigation that is being done OUTSIDE of the CPUC, and that investigation may provide the FIRE that sets #SanOnofreGate ablaze, since once it becomes known to the attorney General and others that BOTH ex parte discussions and also ex parte meetings were routinely being held, it will not only inviolate the one sided San Onofre "Settlement" but potentially result in criminal charges being filed.

BTW: SDG&E has until now been trying very hard to stay in the shadows, but I believe that their emails will also be required to be turned over to investigators, which will then show that SDG&E also had ex parte conversations and/or meeting; so they not only knew about these SCE/CPUC meetings but SDG&E was a party to them (in the very least by "daisy chaining") as they all tried to figure out how to (behind the scenes) best "settle" this investigation in their favor.

  • *The new hashtag that will allow you to keep up to date on the ongoing investigation into the multi-billion $ SCE-CPUC ripoff.

Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:13 a.m.

CaptD: Judge Darling's recent decision was modeled after what Edison has been doing: structuring its alibis to make it appear that all its actions were honest. This can't be done realistically. Any honest judge, upon studying Edison's string of preposterous claims, would see right away what was going on. Ditto for Darling, I imagine. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:50 p.m.

Twister: My guess is that, if Darling is found complicit, she was working for Peevey. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 2:21 p.m.

Darling, the slippery slope steepens!

You've been watching too much Judge Judy.

By "hitting back" with a pillow, you're lighting the fuse connected to the big black round thing you're sitting on--at least that's how the cartoon might be drawn . . .


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:52 p.m.

Twister: I haven't seen political cartoons yet on this topic. When we do, we will know that the scam has at least awakened some people. Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Aug. 8, 2015 @ 7:45 a.m.

RE: "Andrews & Springer says that Edison's meetings with commission decision-makers were more extensive than the company reported; that the belated admission of secret sessions jeopardizes the settlement that is extremely favorable to utilities, and as a result of these disingenuous actions, the company's financial statements were materially false and misleading.

The suit also cites a report by the law firm of Strumwasser & Woocher, arranged by the regulatory commission, describing how the clandestine meetings between Edison and regulators were frequent, pervasive, and sometimes outcome-determinative."

They are the latest, since the Reader as already reported that Pomerantz LLP is also looking into wrongdoing http://pomerantzlawfirm.com/.

Since SCE is a very deep pocket, expect the list to grow as more insider information comes out and both investors and ratepayers realize that what many of us have been saying is correct, namely that SCE along with their 20% partner SDG&E were covering up the replacement steam generator project debacle and used their influence with the CPUC to shift paying for it away from their shareholders to SoCal ratepayers.

#SanOnofreGate provides an impressive listing of all the articles and/or comment about the coverup that involves both Big Utilities, the CPUC and all the elected Leaders that have allowed this to continue to where we are, but now that an independent investigation is underway (outside of CPUC control) the threat of being held libel has started people to speak out about what has taken place and when it happened.

  • *The hashtag that will allow you to keep up to date on the ongoing investigation into the multi-billion $ SCE-CPUC ripoff. Just enter it into the Tweeter or Google search bar.

Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:18 a.m.

CaptD: It seems to me that all Edison can do is plead something like no contest. Its lies have been so absurd that it cannot retract them without firing their entire top management team. And what about the board? Is it permitting Edison to get away with tossing out these obvious falsehoods? Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Aug. 8, 2015 @ 7:59 a.m.

Don - I am really interested in when SDG&E will be served papers demanding all their emails and/or records since as a Party to any CPUC/SCE San Onofre Settlement they had to be "in" on any pre-settlement discussions. Because they are also a "deep pocket" I believe it will not be long before Lawyers representing their shareholders and/or SoCal ratepayers start asking pointed question to SDG&E Senior Management about their role in #SanOnofreGate.

All those Officials and elected Leaders that have been "playing along" and just keeping quiet (in order to remain faithful to SDG&E because they are big Donors), will now start to weigh their own venerability of being caught up in #SanOnofreGate and thereby losing the publics trust.


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:19 a.m.

CaptD: Agreed. SDG&E should have to answer questions, too. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Aug. 8, 2015 @ 8:51 a.m.

This entire mess is so convoluted that we can only hope the pressure on Edison from Wall Street brings about a fair settlement. The "investment community" hates uncertainty, and as long as this drags on, the SCE share price will be dragged down. At some point, SCE might just request reconsideration, and make a settlement that is far less advantageous. Could we hope for a full admission that the stockholders should foot the entire bill? This suit may be just the first one in a series that will be a huge burden on the running of the utility company, and may also spill over onto SDG&E, as Don suggests.

Reminds me of Watergate where the crime was the small issue, but the big deal--and it was a very big deal for those too young to remember--was the coverup. If they're smart, all involved have stopped their criminal activity. But who knows, they may still be covering their tracks as we make our comments.


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 9:34 a.m.

Visduh: They haven't stopped their criminal activity. In my judgment, they cannot stop until they confess that the elaborate web of alibis they concocted was made up of falsehoods.

It is important that lawsuits against Edison, in whatever form, include board members as defendants. Ultimately, only the board can tell Edison's top executives that it is just digging deeper and deeper holes, stuffed full of meretriciousness. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:04 a.m.

Some of 'em should probably put in holes along with their meretrickiousness--whatever that is . . .


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 2:04 p.m.

Twister: It doesn't mean anything when you stick that letter "k" in there. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:06 a.m.

Would stock performance serve as a surrogate for the state of affairs, at least in the opinion of investors?


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 2:06 p.m.

Twister: Not a surrogate, but one example of how management falsehoods have blackened the state of affairs at that company. Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Aug. 8, 2015 @ 12:55 p.m.

It may turn out that if the entire investigation is not squashed, that #SanOnofreGate is far BIGGER THAN WATERGATE since so many elected Leaders have been doing their bet to hinder the investigation by not speaking out for those that deleted them, choosing instead to remain supportive of these Utilities that are their major donors.

A listing of all those that will probably be "explicated" could include several inside the NRC, a US Senator, a State Governor, Ex and/or current CPUC appointed Commissioners, their Staff, Utility (both SCE and SDG&E) Executives and/or Utility Board Members plus a huge number of both local and State elected officials, since Utility donations will establish a money trail that'll be easy for investigators to follow!

Hopefully one unexpected outcome from #SanOnofreGate will be ENDING the CURRENT practice of these Utilites making donations in order to "buy" the support of all these elected Leaders, who then support Pro-Utility decisions, a practice that helped create the regulatory breakdown we now have, since our system of checks and balances has clearly failed us.


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 2:09 p.m.

CaptD: It won't be as big as Watergate. That drove a U.S. president out of office. This won't lead to politicians resigning in disgrace, but it may lead to the besmirching of a lot of state politicians for not doing anything when the facts became clear. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 8, 2015 @ 2:43 p.m.

Re: CaptD Aug. 8, 2015 @ 7:28 a.m.

Wildcard indeed! What all clever weavers of tangled webs persist in forgetting is that if another agency, individual, or set of individuals smell blood in the water, a feeding frenzy ensues to reap the glory, the promotions, and more scratch. Not to mention the thrill of the hunt, a chance to be a hero, and a launching pad into much higher office.


Best, Twister


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 4:41 p.m.

Twister: CaptD's posts have been quite valuable throughout this utilities/regulators scandal. Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Aug. 11, 2015 @ 12:59 p.m.

Twister - Thanks The more of us that help others to understand the BRASS of both the Utilities and the CPUC, the more ratepayers will demand a full accounting of the San Onofre Debacle! s the potential to revolutionize CA since the CPUC needs to be scrapped, which would lower Energy rates statewide!


Visduh Aug. 8, 2015 @ 3:34 p.m.

Wall Street can have a major impact on corporate behavior when it stops recommending a stock, and starts to make barbed comments about management failings. It doesn't take Icahn necessarily to put on the pressure. It can come from hedge funds, stock commentators, securities analysts, and a host of other sources. A few more such suits and SCE could be on the run. Corner those crooks and they might do just about anything. Really corner them, and they will rat each other out, and the wall could come tumbling down. This is really good news for local ratepayers and voters.


Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:57 p.m.

Visduh: I have been watching Wall Street reports on the rape of the ratepayer. It is almost never mentioned. Wall Street approves of a company screwing its customers and artificially jacking up its profits.

But you are right. There reaches a point where even Wall Street realizes that a company has backed itself into a corner with its dishonest alibis. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 9, 2015 @ 7:31 p.m.

"afflict the comfortable." (Apologies to H. L. Menken)


Don Bauder Aug. 10, 2015 @ 9:16 a.m.

Twister: Give credit to Finley Peter Dunne for" comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." But H.L. Mencken would have come up with it if Dunne hadn't gotten there first. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 10, 2015 @ 10:31 p.m.

Wunce mor i stan kerrected! Apologies to Peter Dunne!


Don Bauder Aug. 10, 2015 @ 9:22 a.m.

Twister: I looked that one up, too. Apparently, the publication "Broadcasting" first used it in 1982. Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Aug. 11, 2015 @ 1:04 p.m.

Ratepayer group: Scrap San Onofre deal State office says customers are not getting fair shake from utility commission judge

“We can tell now from the Darling ruling that we’re never going to approach that” $648 million penalty, Como said. “She is basically giving them a slap on the wrist and found only a little bit unlawful.”

This is just too funny, since this group also approved the phony settlement and is now trying to "save face" by calling out the ALJ, what about them? This State Group should be banned from having anything to do with San Onofre since they failed the publics trust so spectacularly!


Don Bauder Aug. 11, 2015 @ 2:37 p.m.

GUESS WHO IS HEADING CPUC COMMITTEE DEVELOPING RULES ON EX PARTE MEETINGS? MIKE FLORIO, THAT'S WHO. Tomorrow (Aug. 12), officials and citizens of the City of San Bruno will gather at 1 p.m. in front of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in San Francisco to protest the naming of CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio to head a CPUC committee looking into policy on ex parte meetings.

Florio has been in trouble in both the major CPUC controversies: 1. the attempt to get a lenient administrative law judge so Pacific Gas & Electric wouldn't have to pay such a big fine for its negligence leading to the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion that killed eight people; 2. secret communication with Southern California Edison brass over the deal that forced ratepayers to pay 70 percent of the costs of the San Onofre decommissioning. It has now been well established that Edison and CPUC officials plotted the "rape of the ratepayer" before the matter ever came before the commission.

Putting Florio in charge of this CPUC committee is akin to the "fox watching the henhouse," says San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane.

Says Charles Langley, one of the leaders of the group trying to get to the bottom of the Edison/CPUC scandal, "Having Mike Florio lead a meeting on CPUC reform is like putting John Gotti in charge of reforming the New York City police department." Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 11, 2015 @ 2:52 p.m.

I hope you and Langley aren't liable to get into any libel trouble for labeling spades spades.


Don Bauder Aug. 12, 2015 @ 4:20 p.m.

WALL STREET SLOWLY WAKING UP TO UTILITIES' CLANDESTINE MEETINGS. Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Arnold yesterday (August 11) downgraded his rating of stock of Southern California Edison to "hold" from "buy." The analyst cited increased risk that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) might throw out the settlement by which the commission forced ratepayers to pick up the tab for 70 percent of the $4.7 billion cost of decommissioning the San Onofre nuclear plant.

Up to now, Wall Street analysts have barely mentioned the existence of a scandal, and the possibility that Edison, PG&E and Sempra Energy will not get the heavily utility-friendly regulation that they have enjoyed since 2002.

San Francisco-based activist organization, The Utility Reform Network (TURN), initially was one of four parties to the settlement. Now, however, TURN, deeply critical of the open corruption that went into the decision-making, has since requested a second hearing.

Today (August 12) TURN told the commission's Government Committee that the reform group favors a new code of conduct for commissioners. TURN cited the study by law firm Strumwasser & Woocher showing that clandestine, ex parte hearings between the utilities and the CPUC "fundamentally alter the decision-making process...Secret, back-room deals have completely corrupted the commission's process."

Wall Street doesn't care about corruption -- but it will care if the corruption eats into utilities' earnings. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Aug. 13, 2015 @ 8:35 a.m.

Twister: TURN initially voted for the rape of the ratepayer. That is inexplicable and inexcusable. TURN has since called for another vote. Did TURN live off Peevey's generosity with intervenor fees? In other words, going along with Peevey to get fat intervenor fees? That is definitely possible. Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Aug. 13, 2015 @ 5:44 p.m.

Don - IMO TURN is even worse than UCAN since they both "sell" themselves as ratepayers advocates but in reality they are not only really Utility advocates, but they are "placeholders" preventing other groups from doing actual "Advocating", since the CPUC is only too happy to work with them (pun intended) and pay them for their ineffective efforts.


Twister Aug. 14, 2015 @ 7:49 p.m.

Nine-tenths of the hell being raised in the world is done by do-gooders.


CaptD Aug. 15, 2015 @ 9:53 a.m.

Twister - I think the one-tenth done by the bad-gooders results in much more damage than the all the rest put together!


Sign in to comment

Win a $50 Gift Card to
Solare Ristorante

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!