San Onofre Steam Generators

Replacement steam generators for San Onofre arrive in Oceanside in 2009. They turned out to be flawed.

San Diego group contested ratepayer costs for shutdown
By Jeff McDonald
April 8, 2015 – 1:24 p.m.

A federal judge wants to hear in person why the decision to charge customers billions of dollars for the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant is a fair deal for ratepayers.

U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo on Wednesday scheduled oral arguments for April 15, when the California Public Utilities Commission and Southern California Edison will be asked to defend a complaint from a San Diego citizens’ group.

The group, Citizens Oversight, filed a longshot lawsuit against the commission and utility days before regulators voted in November to place $3.3 billion in San Onofre-related costs on customers rather than stockholders.

San Diego lawyers Michael Aguirre and Maria Severson, who represent Citizens Oversight and a handful of other plaintiffs, declined to comment on the judge’s action to call a hearing.

Aguirre and Severson filed the case in federal court, arguing that the commission’s decision to approve a settlement negotiated in private constituted an illegal taking of property under the U.S. Constitution.

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