Don Bauder

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

Comments by Don Bauder

Order in the court, Judge Bencivengo!

THE UTILITY REFORM NETWORK (TURN) ALSO DENOUNCES BACK ALLEY MEETING, AND SAYS PEEVEY FREQUENTLY HAD SUCH MEETINGS "IN BLATANT VIOLATION OF HIS OWN COMMISSION'S RULES." San Francisco-based The Utility Reform Network (TURN), which like the Office of Ratepayer Advocates was a party to the agreement that rapes ratepayers, said this morning (April 17) that the stealth meeting of Peevey and Edison executive Steve Pickett raises "concern about Edison's good faith participation in the San Onofre settlement." Then TURN came up with a couple of revelations of its own. "TURN was disturbed to hear that Mr. Peevey had engaged in backroom talks with [Edison] executives. But TURN was not surprised given that Mr. Peevey routinely had private, unreported contacts with utility executives on a wide array of pending CPUC issues, in blatant violation of his own commission's rules. Such meetings were a hallmark of President Peevey's leadership style." TURN admitted, "TURN attempted to disqualify President Peevey in other cases due to his private dealings with utilities. In every case, TURN was unsuccessful." So TURN admits that all along, it had known of Peevey's propensity for back channel meetings, yet it still agreed to the so-called settlement that fleeced ratepayers over the San Onofre closing. TURN went on to say in the release that on April 10 of last year, it huddled with Peevey, who stated that he had had the undercover meeting with Steve Pickett in Poland. But Peevey would not show TURN the notes from that meeting. This information should be critical to the criminal investigations of Peevey, and should have been critical to the decision by Judge Bencivengo yesterday. "TURN should have immediately disclosed" the information it got from Peevey, says San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre, who is fighting for ratepayers. "The complicity of TURN in the proceedings is a shock and renders them unable to participate further." As to this morning's news release by the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, Aguirre says that "The matter should be reopened." There was to be a study of who was to blame for the San Onofre shutdown. The study, by a prominent PhD, was closed down after the CPUC lined up the so-called settlement. Best, Don Bauder
— April 17, 2015 10:45 a.m.

Order in the court, Judge Bencivengo!

CPUC'S RATEPAYER ADVOCATES SAYS "THE PROCESS FOR FAIR DEALINGS AT THE CPUC HAD BEEN SEVERELY COMPROMISED." SAYS IT IS "OUTRAGED" AT THE REVELATION OF PEEVEY'S CLANDESTINE MEETING WITH EDISON EXECUTIVE. ADVOCATES WANT $648 MILLION RETURNED TO RATEPAYERS, BUT, UNFORTUNATELY, THAT IS A DROP IN THE BUCKET. The Office of Ratepayer Advocates at the CPUC this morning (April 17) said it is "outraged" at the revelation of Peevey's clandestine meeting in Poland with an Edison executive. The office says the notes of the secret Warsaw huddle "appear to set a framework for settlement that is similar to the elements of the settlement that was ultimately accepted by the CPUC." Hmmm. This comes the day after a judge wouldn't even take the secret huddle into account when she reached an anti-consumer, pro-Edison decision. The Office of Ratepayer Advocates wants "at least" $648 million returned to ratepayers. But this is a piddling amount. The settlement is for $5 billion, with ratepayers picking up 70 percent of the tab. (The Office of Ratepayer Advocates was one of four parties involved in the so-called settlement. The others were The Utility Reform Network, TURN, a self-professed ratepayer representative, and Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. Importantly, the Office of Ratepayer Advocates said that the notes from the clandestine huddle are similar to the final settlement approved by the CPUC. In short, it appears that the deal was cut by Peevey and the Edison executive, and everything after that was a Kabuki dance. "The process for fair dealings at the CPUC had been severely compromised," said the office. However, it doesn't want to rip up the agreement and start over, because it worries that Edison will go to court and the ratepayers will end up as an even bigger loser. I, for one, have always thought this excuse was utter horse manure. It is time for a complete housecleaning at the CPUC, perhaps involving criminal time for certain people. Will it happen? Don't hold your breath. I have a call in to Aguirre and will update this when he calls back. Best, Don Bauder
— April 17, 2015 10:09 a.m.

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