SDG&E attempts brazen caper #2

Aguirre is acting as a "private Attorney General." That means that he looks after the interests of the people of California as a private citizen and attorney by setting important legal precedents and addressing fraud. Setting aside the SONGS settlement is an example. The courts will award Aguirre his fees and costs in the SONGS case if he wins on appeal and the matter is remanded to the Federal District Court and he wins at trial. Setting important legal precedents permits an award of fees and costs. The PUC awards fees and costs to intervenors if the intervenor and his attorney "make a contribution." Unfortunately, the PUC itself decides if a contribution has been made. The PUC is a hard nut to crack. Aguirre has tired to get the federal court to prevent an unconstitutional taking by private utlitities without due process or just compensation. This protection is found in the 5th Amendment to the US constitution in the SONGS settlement. Governor Brown is pro-utility. The legislature does not have jurisdiction over the pending PUC matters. Courts have no general power of review either. This is a similar situation to commissions in Texas whose job it is to oversee oil drilling. The commissioners become little kings. Some federal courts have intervened under the taking without due process or just compensation when state commissions saddle ratepayers with the costs of private utility screw-ups and grant rate raises arbitrarily. If the Democrats lack the political will to clean up this mess, you can bet that the Republicans never will. Democrats receive huge campaign contributions and can find nice jobs on the boards of directors of large energy companies or as lobbyists upon leaving office. Meanwhile, damages incurred by private utilities due to lack of prudence or safety violations will be foisted on ratepayers to protect investors (shareholders). Legislative efforts to reform the PUC are being blocked by lobbyists. Only the federal courts can change this. An initiative placing reform of the state general ballot should be attempted by consumer groups. Millions of signatures would be needed and lots of television time. This is an unlikely scenario.
— September 26, 2015 7:16 a.m.

Judge spanks Edison for unreported meetings

Don Bauder, The SONGS settlement is a hit for.the ratepayers. It speaks volumes on regulatory capture. But never forget that the other purpose of this settlement was to cover up the fact that the operator endangered the people in Southern California. The quest for the operating data to prove this continues. Aguirre and Severson are involved in this quest. You may think that the issue of nuclear safety is somehow peripheral, but the more you understand about the reasons for the closure of SONGS, and the endangerment of the people of Southern California, the more you will understand the national importance of this story. Your point that the judicial system may be incapable of providing a remedy for ratepayers is beyond dispute. The NRC was unable to have hearings because of the decision to close SONGS. There was no meltdown, so there will be no lawsuit there. And the Mitsubishi arbitration will not yield public information. But SCE is still holding data about the two reactors that prove that they were experimenting with replacement steam generators. Those experimentations, according to my experts, created a clear and present danger to Southern California residents. Senator Boxer understands this completely. But with the Republican takeover, she lost power to further investigate this issue. That is where the press comes in. I hate to see ratepayers get screwed over; but the public endangerment is the big issue going forward because there are a dozen or so other reactors in use of a similar design, and these sorts of shenanigans are a pattern that could cost trillions of dollars and kill and injure many people. Once the unreleased data proving my point becomes public, the more you will be grateful that you did not live in San Diego had the worst case scenario actually happened at SONGS. It was closer that you know. How many close calls do we need in this industry? Experimenting with replacement steam generators is the cause of the closure. That was the purpose of Phase Three. The closure prevented NRC investigation; the PUC went along with a premature settlement to avoid the Phase Three investigation, Boxer lost her chair, and the Mitsubishi arbitration is private and a show.trial. The criminal investigations are about judge shopping and contributions to non-profit organizations, not safety issues. SCE is refusing to produce this data because they claim, they are "too busy"and that it is "proprietary." This is the BIG story. I hope that Aguirre and Severson, Langley and Lutz get paid for their tireless efforts. I hope that the ratepayers do not get stuck with a few more bucks on their bill. But the necessity of digging down into that withheld data involves public safety issues much much larger than a few bucks more on our utility bills.
— August 7, 2015 6:12 a.m.

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