Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Corruption charges be damned

Despite feds' inquiry, before Peevey leaves, CPUC may bill ratepayers $3.3 billion

California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey yesterday (October 9) announced — amid great controversy — that he will leave the commission when his term is up December 31.

His decision coincides with the revelation of emails between the commission and Pacific Gas & Electric that clearly show the commission was trying to get PG&E off easy for its role in the 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people.

The federal government is investigating possible corruption in this exchange of emails. PG&E has fired several executives.

Despite the investigation, by November 20 the CPUC expects to have a final vote on the proposal to make ratepayers pick up the tab for $3.3 billion related to the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant. (Peevey had recused himself from the San Bruno decision because of his role in the email exchanges, as well as other activities in which he favored utility profits over ratepayer fairness.)

Says San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre, who has been fighting the San Onofre matter, "The CPUC is unraveling in the face of corruption being exposed by the media, and the corrupt element is attempting to rush through an approval favoring the utilities for which they work. This is corporate criminal behavior. The people on the inside [of the CPUC] have known what has been going for a long time. Now a broader circle of people are finding out how they are operating. This is even more rigging of the system."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dex Romweber Livestream from the Cave, Author Livestream: Clare Mackintosh

Events August 16-August 18, 2020
Next Article

Tahona Bar takes it to the street

Perks include cemetery view dining, and cocktails out of a VW bus

California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey yesterday (October 9) announced — amid great controversy — that he will leave the commission when his term is up December 31.

His decision coincides with the revelation of emails between the commission and Pacific Gas & Electric that clearly show the commission was trying to get PG&E off easy for its role in the 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people.

The federal government is investigating possible corruption in this exchange of emails. PG&E has fired several executives.

Despite the investigation, by November 20 the CPUC expects to have a final vote on the proposal to make ratepayers pick up the tab for $3.3 billion related to the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant. (Peevey had recused himself from the San Bruno decision because of his role in the email exchanges, as well as other activities in which he favored utility profits over ratepayer fairness.)

Says San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre, who has been fighting the San Onofre matter, "The CPUC is unraveling in the face of corruption being exposed by the media, and the corrupt element is attempting to rush through an approval favoring the utilities for which they work. This is corporate criminal behavior. The people on the inside [of the CPUC] have known what has been going for a long time. Now a broader circle of people are finding out how they are operating. This is even more rigging of the system."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Wall of Moms MAGA?

Non-profit expands efforts to include stopping flow of drugs to kids
Next Article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
Comments
47

I don't think Peevey should get until December. Peevey should be fired for cause effective IMMEDIATELY. That's what would happen to any rank-and-file employee who got caught red-handed doing something grossly unethical.

Oct. 11, 2014

More leaks from CPUC staff (that now are starting to practice CYA), may help get Mr. Peevey to bow out before his term is up and/or the San Onofre vote takes place.

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: Maybe both Peevey and Florio could be forced to resign immediately because of the attorney general and federal government investigations. Maybe such a move could thwart this vote. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

Don - Expect to see both Mr. Peevey and Mr. Florio yield to extreme pressure.

Mr. Peevey - by deferring any important San Onofre voting until he is no longer serving on the CPUC.

Two additional points are what amount of money will Mr. Peevey continue to earn after leaving the CPUC and/or will we see him return to the CPUC as a ultra well connected lobbyist?

Mr. Florio - By recusing himself from the San Onofre vote, in the hopes that he will not be asked to resign from the4 CPUC, since the Lawmakers are themselves too involved to risk voting to remove him, it is far better if he just decides to leave the CPUC.

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: It would be wonderful if Peevey deferred any important vote on San Onofre until he leaves. I wish I could count on it. One way or another, the utilities will take care of Peevey, despite his advanced age. He will either get a management slot, well-paid board position, or lobbying job.

It would be great if Florio recused himself from the San Onofre vote. But can we count on it? Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: Those leaks could be useful. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

ImJustABill: The legislature has to vote Peevey out, but for all practical purposes it won't be functional until January. The CPUC wants to vote in November -- before Peevey is gone -- on the provision that ratepayers have to pay $3.3 billion of expenses tied to the shutdown of San Onofre.

This is criminal. That shutdown was management's fault, and ratepayers should not have to pay a cent. This vote could possibly be blocked if enough Edison and SDG&E ratepayers raise enough hell. Perhaps we could demand that Peevey and Florio cannot vote, because of the investigations by the attorney general and the federal government into their San Bruno offenses. That would leave three commissioners to vote. Is that enough? Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

So shouldn't all major decisions be put on hold until after Peevey is gone? Can anybody enforce that? Judges or the Governor?

Oct. 11, 2014

ImJustABill: I would think Gov. Brown could put those decisions on hold until after Peevey is gone (and maybe Florio, too). It would be done surreptitiously. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

Now it is reported that the AG is investigating the CPUC. What has taken her so long? In fact, what took her two predecessors so long? This is going to be a case of closing the barn door after all the cattle are dead in the pasture. But it would be neat to see Peevey and/or Florio perp-walked into a courthouse. Peevey hung on far too long. At his age he should want to retire gracefully--if the man knew what graceful meant--and now he goes out under a cloud, and may be looking at a very costly criminal defense. Just desserts? We can hope.

Oct. 11, 2014

Visduh: As discussed above, we want both Peevey and Florio out before there is a vote on forcing ratepayers to cough up $3.3 billion for the San Onofre shutdown, which was management's fault. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

"Corporate criminal behavior" seems a little redundant.

Oct. 11, 2014

RE: "Corporate criminal behavior" or (CCB).

CCB cannot be said enough times IMO since, after a while, even those not keeping up with what is going on in San Diego will start to pay attention, especially since this CCB affect their own pocketbook. in a big way. :-)

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: Right now, though, the public is not wise to this corporate criminal behavior. The recondite nature of corporate theft keeps most of the public in the dark. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

MichaelValentine: Good point. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

The CPUC and its Staff are now exposing themselves to further public scrutiny for being far too cozy with those Utilities they regulate, so any recient decisions by the CPUC need to be re-examined by who ever replaces the current CPUC, since too many CPUC decisions in the recent past will surely be challenged in a non-CPUC court of law, since many billions of dollars are at stake on multiple decisions.

If Mr. Peevey is allowed to vote on the San Onofre decision before leaving the CPUC, then I feel sure that Michael Aguirre will find that he will be well funded to appeal the matter, since so many SoCal ratepayers are affected and any appeal will most probably end up with a much more generous settlement for ratepayers, since BOTH SCE and SDG&E have deep pockets and cannot afford a guilty verdict.

Another point to remember is that SCE is now in charge of the San Onofre decommissioning and should SCE be found "guilty" of ratepayer gouging, all future SCE activities may be affected, which could very well cost them additional billions of dollars!

Re-vamped, the new CPUC might very well decide to turn back the rate clock and make sweeping changes that restore fair rate structures in CA. instead of what we have now which is little more than Utility (and their shareholders) Benefit Packages that are funded by captive ratepayers, thanks to a flawed CPUC.

Parts of the above comment also posted on: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: Good points. If the CPUC crooks go ahead and vote on San Onofre before Peevey is out, there should be lawsuits to reverse the vote. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

To "San Diego Highwayman"

Expect to see evermore ratepayers start to get real vocal and even angry, since this is just the TIP of the CPUC debacle that is shafting all SoCal ratepayers.

Once ratepayers realize that they have been routienly fleeced not only by the Utilities but also by many of those charged with standing up for ratepayers (Elected Officials and even Advocacy Groups) that have accepted money/gifts to side with these same Utilities against ratepayers, I look for this story to go viral, since this is really just beginning to get noticed by the average ratepayers. Once ever more people start talking or the CPUC escape the public, as they cry for blood, when SoCal ratepayers start demanding FULL REFUNDS in ever more numbers.

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: Oh, I hope you are right -- that the story of how ratepayers are fleeced by the utilities and the CPUC goes viral. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

Hopefully Atty. Michael Aguirre will be able to ask for and get a CPUC continuance, so that Mr. Peevey and/or any others at the CPUC that may have had improper contact with those they Regulate, are no longer able to influence the decision regarding the San Onofre replacement steam generator project in-house design debacle.

The soon to released CPUC emails may very well spell the end of how the CPUC used to operate and usher in a new CPUC populated by impartial Commissioners, instead of the Pro-Utility ones we are now stuck with.

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: I'm sure Aguirre is working on something along the lines you suggest. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

The Attorney General is investigating the PUC. Billions are at stake.for ratepayers and utilities. The SONGS settlement should be delayed until it is determined that the approval is not corrupt. The PUC does not want to wait for Senator Boxer's inquiry in her Commission because Edison was not "prudent" in its operation. Why the big rush to settle without hearing evidence on the ultimate issue? It appears that the "fix" was in long ago.

Aguirre is one of the few voices against this cronyism. I told the PUC that documents need to be produced and the authors deposed under oath. That is the only way to see that ratepayers are protected and safety is not subordinated.to profit. They hung their heads in shame. Now we see that special favors were being requested by some Commissioners in the San Bruno explosions. SONGS could have blown up, too.

These issues are far too important to sweep under the rug for corporate profits. We are talking issues of public safety.

Oct. 11, 2014

Diogenes - As many of us have said for far too long, the radioactive leak at San Onofre was nothing less than a Nuclear Near Miss. We luckily escaped having a nuclear incident and/or even a nuclear accident like Fukushima which would have affected 5+ million people in SoCal, by the skin of our teeth.

Now the huge number of highly technical documents supplied to the CPUC by those in the public will now come back to haunt them as future discovery/information requests will "prove" that the CPUC had all the documentation they needed to demand that SCE end their "partial power" charade a long time ago, yet the CPUC failed the publics trust by not doing so, just like SCE failed the publics trust, when they tried to self design replacement steam generators without going through a full NRC review, in order to save time which equates directly to shareholder profits.

Now the public is beginning to realize that the "Expert" hired (on the quiet) by the CPUC agreed with what we have been saying all along, San Onofre was a radioactive accident waiting to happen, yet the CPUC tried its best to cover all of this up by ending their relationship with their "Expert", a fact that would have remained covered up if Atty. Michael Aguirre had not gotten his FOI request.

The 3+ Billion Dollar Question the public should now be asking MSM is:

"What else is the CPUC and/or SCE hiding from the public that will prove that they should be libel for all costs associated with their flawed replacement steam generator project".

Oct. 11, 2014

Michael Aguirre is demanding the texts as well as the emails. It will be interesting to examine copies of these communications between the PUC and with the expert you mentioned. I doubt if there are any claims of "privilege" to hide behind because of the open records policies under the California Public Records Act. If their own expert exposed the partial power charade as involving public endangerment, an example must be made.

The "expert" cannot be simply de-designated and retain a consultant only status as in litigation. The PUC should not be acting in an adversarial capacity with the public on behalf of the public utilities owned by private companies.

Senator Boxer is going after the records at SONGS. Edison and the PUC are making a goal-line stand to prevent a full hearing on the issue of "prudence" or lack thereof in the operation of SONGS and the defectively designed replacement steam generator tubes.

There are many documents that are signed under penalty of perjury by engineers to operate a nuclear power plant certifying that all procedures were complied with. Eventually, every document will be reviewed to determine if there was compliance.

This is a huge scandal risking 8.5 million lives just to increase profits.

Oct. 11, 2014

Diogenes: Of course there should be no big rush to hear these cases with the CPUC under both state and federal investigation. But the CPUC can get away with murder, and has on many occasions. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: Yes, what ELSE are the CPUC and Edison hiding? Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 12, 2014

Don,

That is one hell of a cloud to operate under while hearing matters on behalf of ratepayers. Reminds me of the Enron-era corruption.

Oct. 12, 2014

Diogenes: It is reminiscent of Enron, and may be more so if investigators really dig. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 12, 2014

Given what happened in San Bruno and during the San Diego fires, I would say the word "murder" might not even be hyperbole.

Oct. 12, 2014

As they say, "follow the money". So I wonder where the money ultimately leads to. If I understand it right Peevey wanted PG&E to donate $1M (later $500k) to oppose prop 23 which would have overturned AB 32 (global warming solutions act). http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/CPUC-head-Michael-Peevey-to-step-down-5812009.php Now it's possible in theory that Peevey was purely motivated by an altruistic desire to find solutions for global warming. However, I would say when $1M is on the line there is probably a less altruistic explanation. Peevey, or someone behind Peevey, really stood to lose a lot of money if AB32 was overturned. Am I right? What was Peevey's motivation to keep AB32 intact? Was it out of honest concern for global warming (which is a valid concern) or something else? Somehow I doubt his intentions were noble.

Oct. 11, 2014

ImJustABill: Peevey doesn't have an altruistic bone in his body and has never entertained an altruistic thought. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

ImJustABill - I would agree with your "gut" but have no insight into AB 32.

I do think AB 32 could would have put new development at risk, which is something that Big Business would not accept, since the case could easily be made that if water (for example) is now becoming scarce, then the smart thing to do is to limit all new construction until we have built additional pottable capacity to supply them, since to do as we are now doing, will only make the scarcity of water ever more of a problem which will only benefit those that now control CA's water.

Oct. 11, 2014

captd/founder AB 32 passed in 2006 and was signed into law. It requires California to reduce its GHG emissions back down to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and then maintain and continue reductions in emissions of GHG beyond 2020. Prop 23 was about money. It would have frozen the provisions of AB 32 until the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters. I'm not quite sure how new development has been put at risk by it's passage. Would you care to elaborate on that??

Oct. 11, 2014

CaptD: Of course we should limit construction -- maybe put a moratorium on it. We face the possibility of a megadrought. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 11, 2014

From what I've read AB32 would favor "green ventures" and hurt established manufacturing. Now in itself this isn't such a bad thing - certainly "green" solutions for climate change will be needed in the long run.

But I have a feeling the only "green" Peevey and his cronies really care about is the green money the can stuff in their pockets. So I would guess somehow Peevey would stand to benefit from green venture investments.

(From http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Business-leaders-split-on-bid-to-delay-AB32-3189475.php )

Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, said AB32 favors venture-backed green startups over existing industries.

"You are really setting up winners and losers on this," Stewart said, adding: "There is this widespread speculation that AB32 is going to drive all these new green jobs, but in my opinion it is not worth the risk you have of destroying the good-paying manufacturing jobs we still have."

Oct. 12, 2014

I don't really favor a side other than to say that reducing GHG emissions is imperative. And of course, for every person who favors one side of the equation, there's someone who favors the other side. For example, in that same article several others voiced the support of the measure. In any event, the point is mute. The measure failed and AB32 has been in effect for a while. Of note is the fact that while Stewart talked of job losses, he didn't distinguish between jobs lost due to the recession and those that may have been lost die to SB32. At the time of that article, May of 2010, California's unemployment rate was 12.6 percent. The figures for August place the rate at 7.4 percent.

Oct. 12, 2014

Yes, if greenhouse gas emission continues on it's present course we are almost certainly going to have significant changes in worldwide climates which will have drastic effects on many agricultural patterns, trade routes, catastrophic weather events, etc. Those are real problems which should be addressed.

I'm just suspicious that those issues are why Peevey wanted $1M donations to a campaign fund. I suspect that caring about power, influence, and money had more to do with Peevey's motivations than caring about the future climate.

Oct. 12, 2014

ImJustABill: When Gov. Brown praised Peevey, he mentioned his leadership in new technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But that leadership is completely offset by his desire to lift profits of California utilities at the expense of consumers. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 12, 2014

danfogel: Yes, the unemployment rate is down. But that isn't as reflective of the economy's health as some believe. Best, Don Buder

Oct. 12, 2014

ImJustABill: Yes, green is the color of money. If green tech is to succeed, there has to be a profit motive -- but not for officials of the CPUC. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 12, 2014

San Diego Highwayman. Peevey and his ilk are under investigation. It's too early to say that they will be prosecuted. But it's not too early to suspect that the investigations will go nowhere, despite all the evidence already gathered. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 12, 2014

Off topic here, but do you know what is going on with Pimco?

Oct. 13, 2014

eastlaker: Bill Gross, founder of PImco, and an international voice on the bond market, appears to have been forced out by colleagues. As a result of his departure, a lot of money has flowed out of Pimco. It was already flowing out before Gross left. Gross's performance has been poor the last few years. But don't hold that against him. Everybody is wrong part of the time.

We are in untested territory. No one really knows if the Fed can handle a balance sheet as huge as it is -- a result, in great part, of the Fed's long-running purchase of long-term paper, or quantitative easing. No one really knows the effect of effectively zero short term interest rates for as long as we have had them (around five years). Everybody can, and will, make mistakes in this new environment. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 13, 2014

Thanks, someone at SF Gate seemed to be hinting, but I couldn't figure anything out.

Oct. 13, 2014

eastlaker: Gross is THE expert on the bond market. There has been much written, and covered on TV, on his departure from Pimco. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 13, 2014

Bonds are a mystery to me. I will leave them to the initiated!

Oct. 13, 2014

eastlaker: Bond yields are so low now that I don't find them interesting. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, municipal bonds were about 60 percent of our portfolio. Now munis and non-munis (which I put in my IRA) are only 50 percent of the pie. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 13, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close