Following local attorney Mike Aguirre's demand for additional investigation into a previously unreported meeting between former California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey and officials with Southern California Edison, operators of the now-defunct San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, another California nuclear watchdog group is piling on.
On Tuesday, February 10, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility filed a motion with the utilities commission to place sanctions on Edison for rule violations related to the meeting, which occurred in Warsaw, Poland, on March 26, 2013, but wasn't reported until February 9, 2015.
The motion, filed by Alliance attorney John L. Geesman, suggests that the late filing could have been triggered by a police raid on Peevey's house on January 27, which included in its inventory of items seized notes taken by Edison representative Stephen Pickett. Edison claims they did not have access to a copy of those notes, which are believed to have contained the framework for a settlement deal that saddled ratepayers with $5 billion in costs related to San Onofre's premature demise.
The Warsaw meeting occurred nearly seven weeks before evidentiary hearings on the first phase of the commission's investigation into the San Onofre failure began.
"[Edison]’s participant in the March 26, 2013 meeting was Stephen Pickett, described as 'former Executive Vice President of External Relations.' The significance of a manager of such senior rank committing the violation would be compounded if [Edison]’s Notice had acknowledged that Mr. Pickett is also [Edison]’s former General Counsel," reads the motion.
There's also the matter of Edison International CEO Ted Craver, who, during a June 7, 2013, media conference call, told reporters, "The last couple of days I've been on the phone with the Governor, as well as President Peevey."
The Alliance argues that, while Craver could have spoken freely with the governor, notice of contact should have been filed for any conversation with Peevey.
While Edison accompanied its belated report with a release announcing "strengthened policies concerning contact with the Commission," the watchdog group argues that such actions are too little, too late. They're asking that copies of all communications between the utility and regulator since the January 31, 2012, failure of a steam generator at San Onofre be entered into the public record, as well as any internal documents referring to such contacts.
"Seldom in the accumulated history of farming metaphors," notes Geesman, "has a barn door been closed so belatedly after the departure of the cow.”