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."