Though Ron Litzinger's declaration suggests Edison resisted Michael Peevey's repeated requests for substantial donations for greenhouse-gas research, the power provider did ultimately agree to make the donations.
The San Onofre–related documents that Southern California Edison turned over to the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday (April 29) are all one needs to know about the company's credibility.
The commission is supposed to turn over the documents to San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson, who sued to get them because of Edison's foot-dragging in providing them.
In the documents, Edison asserts that then–commission president Michael Peevey's communications did not influence the "settlement" — the so-called compromise in which ratepayers will get stuck paying 70 percent of the cleanup cost related to the closing of the San Onofre nuclear facility.
This started when Peevey had a secret meeting in Poland with Edison executive Stephen Pickett on November 30, 2013. Although Peevey sketched out a framework for what I call the Rape of the Ratepayers, Edison insists it didn't follow his suggestions.
It's important to realize that Peevey has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of California Berkeley and is a former president of Southern California Edison.
Says former Edison VP Stephen Pickett in his April 28 declaration about the 2013 clandestine meeting: Peevey "mentioned a charitable contribution for greenhouse gas research."
On May 2, 2014, Ron Litzinger, then president of Edison, had a meeting with Peevey and another executive. Peevey asked Edison "to make a voluntary contribution to the University of California...for greenhouse gas research...the contribution should total $25 million over five years, with $4 million a year coming from [Edison] and $1 million a year coming from SDG&E," says Litzinger in his April 29 declaration under oath.
On May 14, 2014, Peevey met with Litzinger and another commissioner. "Peevey raised the issue of [Edison] making a contribution to [the University of California] for greenhouse gas research. Mr. Litzinger stated he could not engage in a substantive conversation on that topic," says Edison in its declaration.
On May 28, Mike Hoover, another top Edison executive, met with Peevey. "The communication was initiated by President Peevey, who noted that he was not pleased with [Edison's] hesitance to contribute economic support to a California Center for Sustainable Communities at [the University of California Los Angeles] as part of the [San Onofre] settlement," writes Edison in its declaration released yesterday. (Early conversations were about the UC money going to UCLA.)
On June 5, writes Edison, "President Peevey called Ron Litzinger and again raised the issue of [Edison] making a voluntary contribution to UC for greenhouse gas research. Mr. Litzinger again told President Peevey that he could not respond. President Peevey expressed frustration and demanded to meet with Ted Craver." (Craver was, and is, the big enchilada: he is chief executive of Edison International, the parent of Southern California Edison.)
On June 11, writes Edison, "President Peevey called Mike Hoover to his office, raised the issue of [Edison] making a contribution to UC for greenhouse gas research, and asked Mr. Hoover to deliver to Ron Litzinger a handwritten letter from President Peevey attaching letters to the CPUC written by several public officials urging the CPUC to support greenhouse gas research."
On June 17, writes Edison, "President Peevey initiated a meeting with Ted Craver. President Peevey raised the issue of [Edison] making a voluntary contribution to UC for greenhouse gas research. Mr. Craver responded that he could not engage in a substantive conversation on that topic with President Peevey."
On June 18, writes Edison, "President Peevey called Ron Olson, an attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olson and former member of the boards of [Edison] and Edison International, raised the issue of a UC contribution. Mr. Olson responded that [Edison] could not engage in a substantive conversation on the topic with President Peevey."
On June 20, writes Edison, "President Peevey and Ron Olson again spoke by telephone and then met in person. Mr. Olson reiterated that [Edison] could not engage in a discussion with President Peevey about President Peevey's request for a UC contribution."
That was a lot of turndowns. Sounds like me, decades ago, trying to get a date with the prettiest girl in school. (But even I would have taken a hint and quit after a few tries.)
On September 24, a group of four institutions, including Edison, filed its recommendation for the settlement in which ratepayers would pick up 70 percent of the San Onofre tab. On page 57 is this revealing condition of the deal: the University of California, at a now undetermined location, will get $5 million annually for five years for greenhouse gas research. Edison will pay $4 million a year and SDG&E $1 million annually.