CPUC wipes away Peevey/Edison collusion, criminal investigation

Ratepayers get minor relief; law firm gets $5.4 million

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday (July 26) made an unimpressive adjustment to a rape of the ratepayer that began with a secret meeting between the then-top commissioner, Michael Peevey, and a representative of Southern California Edison in a hotel in Warsaw, Poland. Peevey sketched out a document that would have ratepayers choking up $3.3 billion, or 70 percent, of the $4.7 billion decommissioning costs of the shuttering of the San Onofre nuclear plant. Subsequent lawsuits and events showed clearly tht the closing of the plant was caused by management mistakes. When management errs, shareholders, not ratepayers, should bear the cost.

Yesterday’s meeting trimmed only $750 million from ratepayer costs. San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson were awarded $5.4 million — not an excessive payment since they have worked years on the matter.

During the firestorm, the attorney general’s office raided Peevey’s home, looking for criminal violations. Investigator found documents such as his handwritten notes sketching out the ratepayer rape. But the statute of limitations ran out, leading to whispers that then-Attorney General Kamala Harris let evidence sit, She was then running for U.S. Senate, needing the support of Gov. Jerry Brown, a longtime friend of Peevey’s. She won the election and now some pols and scribes are talking about her running for president in 2020.

Charles Langley, executive director of Public Watchdogs, says, “What we are seeing is a complete failure of our regulators to enforce the law. This settlement is the approval of a criminal conspiracy…that was hatched in a hotel room in Warsaw, Poland.” If all the parties agree to the CPUC decision (that is likely), “the commission will be released from a federal lawsuit that is likely to expose criminal activity by former Commission Michael Peevey.”

The commission wiped out a proposed $25 million for greenhouse gas reserch to be performed by California universities. That was an original Peevey sweetheart arrangement.

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Langley says it all, and most eloquently. Hooray for the one-party system in California!

Visduh: Yes, Langley has his finger on the corruption of SDG&E, Edison, and the CPUC. There are several groups fighting the dumb and dangerous scheme to bury nuclear waste close to the ocean. Best, Don Bauder

And Governor Brown has forwarded legislation to committee to substantially reduce the liability power companies for wildfires. With a one party state legislature ratepayers and homeowners are screwed while shareholders and corporations will profit from negligence.

Outrage after outrage, and it just doesn't stop. The AG didn't investigate or prosecute this fraud until the time ran out. Anyone really want to see Kamala in the White House? You think it can't get worse? Corruption breeds more corruption.

Visduh: If Harris somehow gets in the running, you can bet that we at the Reader will be exposing her dubious activities. Best, Don Bauder

JustWondering: Yes, and Wall Street loves the proposal. In fact, stocks of investor-owned California utilities rallied when Brown's plan was announced. Best, Don Bauder

The first hearing on the “change in liability doctrine” has been held. PG&E is now whining Gov. Brown legislative proposal does not go far enough in reducing, or eliminating liabilities for devestating wildfires caused by their equipment.

In the meantime, CALFire has found PG&E’s equipment caused 8 of 15 wildfires in PG&E service territory. PG&E response is to change a reported 600 million annual profit to a loss. And to raise an alarm about rising insurance costs. Experts say the most devestating of the 2017 wildfires could have a 15 billion dollar cost. CALFires has yet to determine the cause of it.

I have no doubt PG&E will be looking for ways to pass on the loss from shareholders to ratepayers.

Meanwhile the legislature only has till its August 31st recess to ram through changes in the law before this legislative session ends. One can certainly argue when laws are rushed, nothing good comes of it. But in a one-party legislature what do you expect.

Mike Murphy: It appears that Peevey has dirt on some of the people who believe he deserves justice. Best, Don Bauder

will history reveal the truth once one one is left to prosecute ?

Murphyjunk: I doubt that we will read about this greed/scandal in any history books. Best, Don Bauder

Do they even care to prosecute the guilty unethical soulless?

shirleyberan: Unfortunately, the answer is this: seldom. Best, Don Bauder

Thomas Weller: You aren't the only one to believe that. Best, Don Bauder

This result might be disappointing, but we should congratulate Michael Aguirre and Maria Severson. $750 million is not nothing, ratepayers should thank them. They fought for consumers and won. In a just world, their victory would be more complete. But in California, kids do jail time for a few thousand in credit card fraud, while billion dollar con men never are arrested.

Herkimer: Psycholizard is articulate. Best, Don Bauder

Psycholizard: I don't think $750 million is all that much, given the total originally loaded on ratepayers' backs. I agree that Aguirre and Severson deserve pats on the back and even deserve even more settlement pay, if that is forthcoming. Best, Don Bauder

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