Public utilities commission's rape of the ratepayers

1 hour and 15 minutes to examine the unfair $3.3 billion bill

San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson are vehemently protesting another move by the California Public Utiliities Commission (CPUC) to fleece ratepayers over the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant.

They note in a document that will be filed Monday (May 5) that over a period of nine months, the CPUC's Office of Ratepayer Advocates, the Utility Reform Network (TURN), Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric hammered out a compromise on how ratepayers and shareholders would split the cost of closing the faciility.

The result of the alleged compromise was shocking: ratepayers will pick up $3.3 billion of the tab. (Shareholders, not ratepayers, should pay for management blunders.)

But after the nine months of discussions, the CPUC will hold a review of the facts and circumstances in one day — yes, one day, on May 14. And opponents, who are fighting to protect ratepayers, will have only one hour and 15 minutes to examine how the $3.3 billion burden was arrived at.

Here is an example of what utilities are getting away with: Aguirre and Severson asked Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric how much they have already recovered from their investment in San Onofre. Reply: they have recovered $4.14 billion in depreciation and amortization. Also, Edison has recovered additional amounts from ratepayers for asset requirements and nuclear fuel.

"It would require extensive study to quantify such amounts," complains Edison. Such a burden would be "unduly burdensome."

So, how can utilities justify another $3.3 billion on top of $4.14 billion if they refuse to do their homework? It's the rape of the ratepayers.

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Don, this threat to public safety and the California economy has become a worst case scenario because we most obviously have no politicians in either party that are willing to protect ratepayers from gross criminal negligence by SCE executives who have been granted immunity by Peevey's corruption and gross criminal negligence.

Anon92107: True. The politicians won't stand up to the CPUC, whose policies permit Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to fleece ratepayers. I can't figure out why this is true, other than the obvious: gushes of money flowing under the table to the pols. Jerry Brown should have booted out Peevey years ago. California ratepayers are getting raped. Best, Don Bauder

Don, the never-ending failures by federal, state and local politicians are the greatest threat there is to our survival and future generations shall be suffering the gravest of consequences, the worst possible legacy we can give them.

American politicians in both parties are enabling global warming, outrageous inequalities and loss of rights, along with the overthrow of American Democracy that SCOTUS just produced.

We have allowed the CPUC to have some powers similar to SCOTUS.

I hope Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson take the CPUC case to Federal Court, then perhaps we will see some justice for ratepayers!

CaptD: If the CPUC will not give ratepayers' representatives to protest this outrage, it will very possibly go to court. Best, Don Bauder

Anon92107: SCOTUS and the CPUC have definite similarities. Best, Don Bauder

Fotis Tsimboukakis: Right you are. Republicans claim (falsely) that they are protecting taxpayers. But they are NOT protecting California utility ratepayers. They continue to let the utilities take the ratepayers to the cleaners while letting the shareholders amass profits that are larger than regulators in other states allow. Best, Don Bauder

Agreed, both traditional parties have failed the Public's trust time and time again, which is why San Diego is being now sold to the highest bidder!

CaptD: But Wall Street loves the CPUC. See my column this week. Best, Don Bauder

Bonnie B. Price: Get out there and fight for California ratepayers. Best, Don Bauder

Stephan Flores: You are absolutely right. The CPUC fights for higher utility profits and fleeces ratepayers to do so. How much stock in California utilities does CPUC head Peevey (formerly president of Edison), and others on the commission, have stashed in offshore tax and secrecy havens? Best, Don Bauder

as I have mentioned before, start publishing the pictures and home address of these decision makers so the public can address their concerns directly to them and see how fast the problem goes away.

Its the small town theory, if everyone knows everyone there will be very little b.s. being pulled on the citizens.

I suggest that we each call out Councilmember and the Mayor and ask them what they are doing about the SDG&E rip-off, since they are our local Utility.

I believe that you will find that they will be very polite but their real answer Is Nothing...

Murphyjunk: That would not be a bad idea, but it wouldn't dispel the problem. Greed trumps embarrassment. Best, Don Bauder

The key issue is to get as many people as possible to call their Leaders and MSM outlets and ask them why they are being silent on this multibillion dollar issue that affects all the ratepayers in SoCal.

Besides lawyers Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson, here is a Press Release from a local San Diego group that will also be at that CPUC meeting:

Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs)



Overly complex proposed settlement hides double/triple-dipping and allows utilities to avoid responsibility for imprudence, design errors, and avoiding NRC review

Here is the link to their full Press Release:

CaptD: The more groups that get involved on the side of ratepayers, the better. Best, Don Bauder

Salute to Don Bauder and the editorial staff at San Diego Reader for having the GUTS to post information about this Multi-Billion Dollar Utility Rip Off.

San Diego claims that it is America's Finest City but when it comes to providing news and information about important issues we are close to being America's Worst City, thanks to those that control our local MSM and that includes KPBS, who all refuse to speak out in a meaningful way about how the CPUC is making the San Onofre's Replacement Steam Generator Project an even bigger ratepayer debacle!

CaptD: It appears that the Union-Tribune is now giving San Diego Gas & Electric room to comment in the news columns, seemingly without identification. Best, Don Bauder

The UT has now limited free speech in San Diego by its comment requirements/rules and therefore the UT (nd VOSD) are nothing but propaganda outlets that offer no true debate, since they are pushing their one sided support for more of what is good for big business in San Diego.

They should change their name to Business Union Tribune ==> BUT

RE: CA Public Utilities Commission's Rape of the Ratepayers

I find it very disappointing that our local newspapers and all our local MSM were only too happy to publicly denounce Ex-Mayor Filner for groping some women in San Diego, but now they are silent while the CPUC is allowing our Utilities SCE and SDG&E to rape all the ratepayers in SoCal...!

Why should we have such a hard time finding out about what is really going on from our local Leaders, especially when Billions of Our Dollars are at stake!

Where are all the outraged voters of both sexes that said: Bob Filner Must Go...

Why are we not hearing even more people in San Diego, now all shouting:

The CPUC Must Go, No Raping Of Utility Ratepayers Allowed...

CaptD: Yes, alleged -- and I said "alleged" -- groping is bad, but rate is perfectly acceptable, Best, Don Bauder

Oops: I meant "rape is perfectly acceptable." Best, Don Bauder

Then again, a prostitute might indeed find the word "rate" perfectly acceptable.

Duhbya: Why is it that every time we discuss the California Public Utilities Commission, the subject of prostitution comes up? Best, Don Bauder

Not many would key in on that. Nice work. In my 18-wheeler days, I was taken advantage of on many occasions by those pocket-lining thimble brains.

Duhbya: They are pocket-pickers, but not thimble brains. That's the trouble. Dumb crooks are often easy to deal with. Smart crooks aren't. My column this week, which shows up online Wednesday, describes the mysterious thieves' den. Best, Don Bauder

Upon reflection, I realize I was the thimble head, if for no other reason than continuing to appear before the Commission to help present an ever un-winnable position as to why the CPUC should not have been allowed to deregulate our (independent construction trucking) industry. Public safety suffered a major hit after that, with unqualified drivers attempting to handle 80,000 rigs on clogged San Diego arteries and freeways all the while working for half the going rate. I watched a guy turning onto El Cajon Blvd and clip a pedestrian with his rear most trailer wheels, killing him instantly. Tragedies like that notwithstanding, whom do you think the contractor$ favored, and sublet the work to first? Looking forward to your article.

Oops, meant to type 80,000 "LB" rigs in the above post.

I'm not seeing the usual GOP bashing in these comments. The fact is that the state is firmly under control of Dems, and the GOP has the back seat. Yet this travesty is occurring now. How about some Dem bashing for a change?

The indignant howls about Filner were a diversion. While there was so much coverage given to him, far more important things were ignored. So, what's the reason for flogging this jerk Sterling for going-on-two-weeks now? More diversion? Nah, nevahappen!

Good point all!

I agree the two party system is alive but has failed the publics trust in CA.

The CPUC is a perfect example of that...

To bad we cannot limit what people can spend to run and remove all political labels from their campaigns leaving only a listing of what companies gave how much money to support them.

Until we have election reform we will continue to have ever more of what we have now, a flawed political system where those that get elected become rich for paying back their big donors with political support for their projects.

"It would require extensive study to quantify such amounts,"

Hmmm. We are talking about 4 BILLION DOLLARS here. Maybe I'm being naive, but I would think they could probably spend, say 0.1% of that amount ($4M) to quantify the amounts in great detail.

Yes, you are correct but that would also now make the CPUC look BAD since they tried to push for an early settlement and if it now becomes known that they were actually helping SCE BIG Bucks then the CPUC will receive massive amounts of egg on their face, which I believe that want to avoid at all cost (especially to Utility shareholders)!

The PUC must reject the proposed settlement. More evidence must be taken under oath to determine whether the operation acted prudently. There was an allegation that the operation should have sought a re licensing hearing. Michael Aguirre contends that SONGS was operating without a license. That fact alone would raise a presumption that the operator was not prudent. Today is the last day for public comment. SCE wanted to settle with TURNS which is not in Southern California. Settlement negotiations excluded other intervenors such as Citizens Oversight Project (Ray Lutz).

On May 14, 2014, there is an "evidentiary hearing" about the proposed settlement. Today is the last day for public comment. Two or three former engineers who worked at SONGS have come forward to say that the CEOs made numerous non-prudent decisions that cost ratepayers and endangered public safety.

Barbara Boxer and present parties are still seeking documents and responses to discovery. Further evidence must be taken in phases 3 to determine the issue of prudence. The settlement is premature and grossly inadequate.

Thumbs Up

Yes, but the question now is, "Will the CPUC reject the solution that it so wants to accept, (in order to put this ugly debacle behind them) while risking that Michael Aguirre will then take them to Federal Court, making them all look like they are ganged up against the ratepayers of Southern California; which could result in gigantic rebates for all ratepayers and a much need overhaul of the CPUC itself?”

It's just my opinion, but I seriously doubt that a lawsuit in Federal Court would ever see the light of day. There are way do many dark forces at work for that to happen and I think Mikey knows it. BTW I have noticed that you have used the acronym msm in several of your posts. I'm not clear what that is, can you clarify please.

Main Stream Media aka MSM, sorry!

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