New documents have surfaced that show Sen. Dianne Feinstein — as a favor to Southern California Edison — wrote the United States ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, asking her to intervene with the government of Japan to put blame on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the flawed equipment that brought down the San Onofre nuclear plant.
The documents were obtained and provided San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson.
Feinstein wrote to Kennedy on November 14, 2013. Five days later, Ted Craver, Edison's highest officer, sent a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, attaching Feinstein's letter. The package was also sent to Secretary of State John Kerry and other important U.S. officials.
Craver wrote this letter to the utilities commission months after the notorious secret huddle in Warsaw, Poland, in which then-commission president Michael Peevey, a former president of Edison, essentially dictated the terms of a deal in which ratepayers would pay $3.3 billion in San Onofre decommissioning costs. Craver knew of the results of the clandestine Polish meeting.
Yet, on November 19, Craver wrote the commission and said this was not "a simple dispute between commercial parties," but it "affects millions of California ratepayers."
Feinstein's letter to Kennedy said, "I would appreciate it if you would engage the Government of Japan to urge Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to compensate California's electricity ratepayers for the costs associated with the premature" closing of San Onofre.
Feinstein even asked Kennedy to raise the point in then-ongoing negotiations over the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. This occurred during a time when California's other senator, Barbara Boxer, was calling for a criminal investigation of the San Onofre shuttering.
In the documents that have already come out, it is clear that Edison management pressured Mitsubishi to use materials that turned out to be defective — not the other way around. The blame lies with Edison, not Mitsubishi. These letter exchanges represent the height of hypocrisy and dishonesty.
"This is the most embarrassing and improper thing done in the entire process," says Aguirre.