Don Bauder

Don Bauder is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

Comments by dbauder

Appeals court sides with CPUC, denies intervenor fees

LORETTA LYNCH WRITES OF CPUC'S PRO-UTILITY BIAS UNDER PEEVEY. In an op-ed in today's (December 19) sfgate.com, Loretta Lynch, the pro-consumer president of the CPUC who was replaced by Mike Peevey, tells how the so-called regulatory body is going back to the Robber Baron days. Lynch tells how the modern CPUC was created "out of a cozy, corrupt relationship between the regulators and the all-powerful railroads and mega-companies of the 20th century...[California] Gov. Hiram Johnson knew that when regulators become captured by the regulated, and in secret do the bidding of powerful corporations instead of the people, the economy suffers." She goes on: "By statute, the [CPUC] must ensure that utility rates are just and reasonable." However, "Under Peevey, the commission ignored the law, the press and the public in order to do the utilities' bidding. [CPUC] decisions became divorced from facts or science and were unfettered by public oversight." She cites some examples: "When Pacific Gas & Electric failed to spend the money it had already received to maintain the gas system, resulting in tragedies like the San Bruno explosion, the [CPUC] allowed the utility to keep the money." Also, "Despite lavish talk about increasing renewable energy and the start of renewable mandates in 2002, the [CPUC] has authorized more fossil-fueled energy than renewable energy during Peevey's tenure, with prices and terms kept secret. Often these plant approvals are fast-tracked and approved with no demonstrated need." Lynch says, "It is time we return to what the voters enacted through initiative 100 years ago." Regulators should follow the spirit of the law, require open government, stop the fossil buying binge and "stop the gifts, the partying and the travel with those with financial interests at the [CPUC] including their agents and their foundations." Three cheers for Loretta Lynch.
— December 19, 2014 7:36 p.m.

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