San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
  • San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
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Energy-industry watchdogs are still wrangling with former San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station operator Southern California Edison over the release of communications both internal and between the utility and its state regulator in the buildup to the plant's demise.

Last month, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility filed a motion with the California Public Utilities Commission requesting that Edison be ordered to make public any communication regarding the plant since its January 2012 shutdown. The motion came following the belated disclosure of a Warsaw, Poland meeting between executives and former commission president Michael Peevey, which itself was preceded by a police raid on Peevey's home.

The undisclosed communications are important because the topics discussed have included a much-maligned settlement proposal that would place financial responsibility for San Onofre's premature failure on utility ratepayers, rather than on shareholders, of Edison and Sempra Energy, parent company to San Diego Gas & Electric.

Still, Edison officials balked at the request for disclosure, terming the proposal an "extraordinary remedy" for their breach in a February 25 response. The utility insists that, at most, any discovery rights the public might be entitled to should be limited to the already-disclosed Warsaw meeting.

Firing back on March 9, Alliance attorney John Geesman called Edison's response (which delves into procedural minutiae in justifying undisclosed communications) a "belabored explanation" using a "blinkered approach" to interpreting statutes regarding contact between utilities and the state regulator during procedural hearings.

"Any Californian exposed to the news media in the past six months knows that there is something seriously askew with unreported ex parte communications at the [commission]," wrote Geesman.

The commission has yet to rule on whether or not Edison will be asked to release any records for further scrutiny.

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Comments

CaptD March 13, 2015 @ 5:03 p.m.

RE: "Last month, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility filed a motion with the California Public Utilities Commission requesting that Edison be ordered to make public any communication regarding the plant since its January 2012 shutdown. The motion came following the belated disclosure of a Warsaw, Poland meeting between executives and former commission president Michael Peevey, which itself was preceded by a police raid on Peevey's home."

This is just too funny if it was not about a 4+ Billion Dollar debacle, since the CPUC is now under investigation for wrong doings associated with its oversight of SCE's operation of San Onofre. San Diego's own Aguirre & Severson is also calling them out, not just the email "monkey business," but also for SCE hiring very expensive lawyers for employees that SCE will not even name, which may be against the law. I guess that is why SCE laid off so many workers and then hired so may lawyers after they announced the decommissioning of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

More here on that: Press Conference, March 10, 2015 from: http://www.amslawyers.com/Breaking-News/

Today, Aguirre & Severson filed a petition in Superior Court to force the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to hold hearings to justify the hiring of its new $882-per-hour criminal defense attorneys.

The law suit also asks the judge to require the CPUC to follow the Government Code by holding public proceedings to identify who at CPUC requested criminal defense services and to make findings as to whether those individuals are entitled to a publicly-paid lawyer. In addition, the lawsuit seeks to compel the production of records that have been properly sought but denied under the California Public Records Act.

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dwbat March 13, 2015 @ 6:21 p.m.

Let's hope there are criminal indictments on the horizon against SCE and CPUC individuals.

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CaptD March 15, 2015 @ 2:52 p.m.

Let's hope there will be NOT ONLY a 4+ Billion Dollars refund but also a large penalty for trying to rip all their ratepayers off, which putting a few employees in jail cannot rectify. I'd really like to see several Billion Dollars in FINES be earmarked for ultra low interest solar panel installation loans for all residential customers, that would be sweet, as long as someone other than the Utilities got to administer the program so it would not turn into a make work project that only transfers the funds back to the Utility.

On the local level, since SDG&E is only a 20% partner to this "crime", they should not get off without also some sort of lessor penalty since they have chosen to not only "hide" behind SCE's actions, (which makes them an accomplice to this "crime" against ratepayers) but they are using their influence to downplay what is happening while seeking to profit from doing so!

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