Archive for the ‘ Public Utilities Commission ’ Category

Los Angeles Times: CPUC considering modifications to San Onofre nuclear deal

Rob Nikolewski
December 14, 2016

In a ruling made just before the close of business hours Tuesday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) directed Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to meet with groups critical of a 2014 agreement that calls on utility ratepayers to shoulder about 70 percent of the costs from shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Read the rest of this entry »

question-mark

Jeff McDonald
November 30, 2016

The judge who until a few weeks ago was in charge of the long-running San Onofre case before the California Public Utilities Commission has taken a job with a contractor to plant owner Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Supreme Court

Jeff McDonald
November 28, 2016

The California Supreme Court has declined to take up a lawsuit seeking release of dozens of emails to and from the Governor’s Office regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

CPUC

Jeff McDonald
September 29, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown signed five bills Thursday aimed at reform for the California Public Utilities Commission and called on the agency to take additional steps to impose changes of its own.

Read the rest of this entry »

jerry-brown

The Fair Political Practice Commission won’t be investigating Gov. Jerry Brown, despite an advocacy group’s report about his “Dirty Hands.” (Christophe Petit Tesson / EPA)

Jeff McDonald
September 24, 2016 – 05:00 p.m.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission will investigate donations made to the California Democratic Party by privately owned utilities and other energy interests.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: State auditor calls for CPUC reforms

Michael Peevey - Poland

The Hotel Bristol Warsaw, where state regulators met with a Southern California Edison executive to discuss San Onofre. (Publicity image)

Jeff McDonald
September 22, 2016

State utility regulators, already under criminal investigation for their ties to monopolies they oversee, should ban gifts and travel from energy companies and trade groups to avoid the appearance of improper relationships, a state audit released Thursday said.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Veto talk swirled around CPUC reform bills

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald
Sept. 10, 2016 | Updated – 12:15 p.m.

  • Commission president had last-minute concern about criminal penalty provisions of law

When key bills aimed at reforming the California Public Utilities Commission died last month, much of the blame was placed publicly at the feet of a Republican floor leader — someone not typically seen as a make-or-break figure in a Democrat-dominated legislature.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Sanchez calls on feds to take over CPUC probe

Jeff McDonald
By Jeff McDonald |
Sept. 8, 2016 – 5 p.m. |
Sept. 9, 2016 – Updated 7:37 a.m.

Congresswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez called Thursday for a federal takeover of the criminal investigation into the California Public Utilities Commission from her political rival, Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Read the rest of this entry »

CPUC

Liam Dillon
August 1, 2016

A major effort to overhaul the state’s energy regulator surprisingly collapsed after late legislative maneuverings led to the unraveling of the broad coalition that had pushed for changes at the scandal-ridden agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre

2014 photo of San Onofre nuclear power plant. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Liam Dillon
August 28, 2016

For years, state lawmakers have been trying to crack down on private meetings between utility companies and members of the California Public Utilities Commission after revelations that top officials and industry executives had frequent dinner dates, shared talking points and even sketched out details of the multibillion-dollar closure of a Southern California nuclear power plant during a secret rendezvous in a luxury hotel in Poland.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 26, 2016 – 6:54 PM

The California Assembly has shown a certain appetite for institutional reform this year – noteworthy because it happens so rarely in the Capitol.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre

Southern California Edison argued in a filing with state regulators that a settlement agreement over the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant was fair and reasonable. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

Ivan Penn
July 7, 2016

Southern California Edison on Thursday warned that its customers could face higher costs related to the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant if regulators overturn a settlement agreement.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre

An independent audit found problems with the California Public Utilities Commission’s hiring of private law firms in connection with investigations on how the commission handled the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s emergency shutdown in 2012. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Jeff McDonald
June 29, 2016

Major reforms may be coming to the California Public Utilities Commission, but the agency still has plenty of room for improvement, auditors said Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 28, 2016 – 5:59 PM

  • Public Utilities Commission, Coastal Commission under fire
  • Critics say insiders have too much access to members
  • New bills would place limits on ‘ex parte’ communications

Lawyers love to sprinkle their discourse with Latin phrases, thereby giving them a veneer of erudition.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Sweeping Public Utilities Commission changes announced

CPUC

On Monday, June 27, 2016, the day Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced a deal to overhaul the troubled California Public Utilities Commission.

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
June 27, 2016 – 11:19 AM

  • Embattled regulator has faced regular criticism
  • Influencers will need to register as lobbyists
  • Companies such as Uber, Lyft no longer in agency’s enforcement purview

A deal between Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced Monday will bring major changes to the oft-criticized California Public Utilities Commission, including removing the regulator’s enforcement authority over ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Edison, regulators, cooperated on subpoena

Red Flag

By Jeff McDonald | May 25, 2016 – 9 p.m.

  • CPUC worked with utility on legal strategy during San Onofre investigation

Even as it was preparing to review a $4.7 billion deal settling costs for the failed San Onofre nuclear plant, the California Public Utilities Commission was working behind the scenes to draft and send subpoenas on behalf of plant owner Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Moody’s dings Southern California Edison

San Onofre

Reopening San Onofre nuclear settlement a ‘credit negative’

By Rob Nikolewski |
May 17, 2016 – 2:35 p.m.

It’s not a ratings downgrade, but Moody’s Investor Service on Tuesday called reopening the financial details of the San Onofre nuclear plant shutdown a “credit negative” for the plant’s operator, Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: AG says CPUC probe hasn’t stalled

Kamala Harris

At this past week’s Senate debate, Kamala Harris said of the utilities commission, “We are concerned about what’s going on there, that’s why there’s an active criminal investigation. And the bottom line is this: We are going to go where the facts lead us.” — (Hayne Palmour IV)

By Jeff McDonald |
May 14, 2016 – 8 a.m.

  • Reports of missed deadlines are ‘absolutely incorrect,’ Harris says

Eighteen months ago, when the Attorney General’s Office served a search warrant on the California Public Utilities Commission headquarters in San Francisco, agents carted away computers, files and other materials by the armful.

It was more than a raid. It was a dramatic message to utility regulators: Attorney General Kamala Harris was serious about investigating government corruption.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 10, 2016 – 3:33 PM

  • San Onofre nuclear power plant shut down
  • Secret deal stuck ratepayers with most costs
  • As probe continues, PUC reopens the case

The long-simmering scandal in the state Public Utilities Commission over a secret deal to stick ratepayers with most of the costs of shutting down the San Onofre nuclear power plant just got more interesting.

Read the rest of this entry »

KPBS: Deadline Passes In Probe Of Secret San Onofre Deal

Kamala Harris

Customers may now have little recourse for accountability for how they were handed a $3.3 billion bill for the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s shutdown after a radiation leak in 2012.

By Amita Sharma
Friday, April 29, 2016

Aired 4/29/16 on KPBS News.

While California Attorney General Kamala Harris gathers steam in her campaign to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, the statute of limitations has run out for her to file charges for a secret meeting in Poland that spawned a San Onofre settlement.

Read the rest of this entry »

KPBS-TV: Harris Questioned For Representing Gov. Brown During San Onofre Probe

Kamala Harris

California Attorney General Kamala Harris (Richard Vogel/AP)

By Amita Sharma
Friday, April 15, 2016

How does a prosecutor build a case if she’s representing a potential witness in her investigation?

Read the rest of this entry »

KPBS: Critics Unhappy With Kamala Harris’ Approach To San Onofre Probe

Kamala Harris

Her office’s criminal investigation of the nuclear plant’s closure has drawn scrutiny as she runs for U.S. Senate.

By Amita Sharma
Evening Edition
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When criminal investigators with the California Attorney General’s Office searched the home of a former top utility regulator early last year, they uncovered evidence that upended a story state officials and a major electric utility had been telling consumers about the deal to pay for the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Complaint alleges PG&E conflict by Brown’s top aide

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a bill with advisers including Executive Secretary Nancy McFadden. [Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press file]

By Jeff McDonald & Patrick McGreevy |
March 11, 2016 – 6 p.m.

A consumer advocacy group filed a complaint Friday with the state ethics agency seeking an investigation into whether the top aide to Gov. Jerry Brown influenced appointments to the state Public Utilities Commission while she owned stock in PG&E, an allegation rejected immediately by the Governor’s Office.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown’s judicial friend steps away from PUC email case

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

The San Onofre nuclear power plant in northern San Diego County, was shut down in 2013, and the Public Utilities Commission sunsequently said ratepayers should pay 70 percent of the closure costs. The decision is now being contested.

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
March 9, 2016 – 10:44 AM

  • Justice J. Anthony Kline had blocked order to review communications
  • Lawyers seeking email access demanded that Kline recuse himself
  • Other judges will now decide whether emails should be released

Appellate Justice J. Anthony Kline, one of Gov. Jerry Brown’s oldest friends, has quietly stepped away from handling a case involving Brown’s communications with the Public Utilities Commission.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Dispute with utilities panel involves friend of Brown

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 23, 2016 – 4:07 PM

  • Attorney wants emails touching on nuclear plant closure
  • California Public Utilities Commission resists demand for emails
  • Old friend of governor blocks court order for email release

A legal flap over Gov. Jerry Brown’s communications with the Public Utilities Commission is escalating – and now involves one of Brown’s oldest friends.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Francisco Chronicle: Solar homeowners win big in California ruling, for now

Solar panels

By David R. Baker
January 28, 2016
Updated: January 28, 2016 – 3:44pm

The solar industry scored a major victory Thursday when a divided California Public Utilities Commission voted to keep largely intact the system that compensates solar homeowners for excess electricity that they place on the grid.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: PUC mess: Did Brown play role?

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 26, 2016 5:09 PM

  • PUC president made secret deal on nuke plant shutdown
  • San Diego attorney hunts for connection to governor
  • Judge’s ruling could force Brown to make disclosures

Jerry Brown distances himself from embarrassing situations in the state government he ostensibly commands, never adopting Harry Truman’s “the buck stops here” attitude.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Judge calls for review of CPUC emails

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald
Jan. 25, 2016 | Updated – 5:05 p.m.

  • Ruling: Utilities commission won’t get last word on withholding San Onofre emails

A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Monday rejected the California Public Utilities Commission’s request to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at forcing regulators to release dozens of emails to and from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Judge overseeing San Onofre case steps down

Jeff McDonald
By Jeff McDonald |
Jan. 5, 2016 – 5:38 p.m.

The judge who has overseen the matter of the San Onofre nuclear plant failure for the California Public Utilities Commission has stepped down amid the ongoing criminal investigation at the agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Criminal probe focuses on San Onofre response

CPUC

Warrant examines utilities commission, Edison meetings and UCLA grant funds

By Jeff McDonald and Ricky Young |
Dec. 29, 2015 – 5:00 p.m.

A state criminal investigation into the California Public Utilities Commission centers around former President Michael Peevey’s persistent intervention into the process to assign costs for the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant, newly released court documents show.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: California regulators propose new rooftop solar fees

Solar Panels

Solar proponents have been rallying to block changes to rooftop solar costs. On Tuesday, state regulators proposed new fees for solar customers.

Ivan Penn
December 15, 2015

Rooftop solar panel owners could face new fees under a proposal issued Tuesday, but state regulators rejected several recommendations by utility companies that threatened the expansion of residential and commercial solar efforts.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Brown is no stranger to CPUC involvement

San Bruno

In this Sept. 9, 2010 file photo, a massive fire roars through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif., after a lethal 2010 gas pipeline explosion that engulfed a suburban San Francisco neighborhood in flames, killing eight people. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | 7 a.m. Dec. 7, 2015 | Updated, noon

  • Governor doesn’t stop at making commission appointments

A new batch of emails released by the City of San Bruno last week show Gov. Jerry Brown supervising his appointees on the California Public Utilities Commission closely.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Judge consulted Edison on San Onofre deal

CPUC

Utilities commission says call was appropriate, critics say regulator is compromised.

By Jeff McDonald | Oct. 21, 2015 – 8:22 p.m.

As criticism mounted last year of a settlement deal that billed utility customers for 70 percent of the $4.7 billion cost of failure at the San Onofre nuclear plant, the state judge assigned to the case reached out to plant owner Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: State closes probe of CPUC president

fppc logo

Political commission says no further disclosure required on tribute dinner

By Jeff McDonald | Oct. 2, 2015 – 6:07 p.m.

State elections regulators have cleared the California Public Utilities Commission president of any wrongdoing related to a February gala dinner honoring his predecessor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Solar Panels

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), center, helps as SolarCity employees Jarret Esposito, left, and Jake Torwatzky install rooftop solar panels on a south Denver home in 2010. San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity operates in 19 states. (Ed Andrieski / Associated Press)

By Ivan Penn
September 26, 2015

Tired of growing electricity bills, Miguel Espinoza decided to turn to the sun, rather than the grid, for power.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union Tribune: CPUC reform bills sent to governor

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald |
Sept. 11, 2015 – 6:01 p.m.

  • Measures rein in private meetings, establish inspector general

Four bills aimed at reforming the California Public Utilities Commission passed the state Legislature on Friday and are headed to the Governor’s Office for consideration.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: Edison files opposition to reopening San Onofre settlement

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

Southern California Edison, one of the two utilities that owns the plant, wants state regulators to keep a settlement agreement in place that leaves customers on the hook for $3.3 billion of the $4.7-billion cost to close the facility. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

By Ivan Penn
September 10, 2015

Southern California Edison asked state regulators Thursday to reject calls to reopen the settlement agreement over the closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rate Increase

By David R. Baker
September 1, 2015
Updated: September 1, 2015 5:17pm

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Tuesday asked state regulators for permission to collect an extra $2.7 billion from its customers over the course of three years, using the money for technology upgrades and improved disaster response.

Read the rest of this entry »

SCE

Pressure is building to reopen the agreement that saddles Southern California consumers with more than $3 billion in costs for shuttering the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

By Teri Sforza / Staff Columnist
Updated Aug. 21, 2015 7:18 a.m.

Southern California Edison did its very best to figure out which chitchats between its executives and state regulators were “substantive” enough to require disclosure to the rest of the world, it argued in a legal filing Thursday. But those rules are murky, people’s recollections change, and Edison has beefed up tracking company communications with state regulators as a result, to better sort the wheat from the chaff.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Oversight of San Onofre shutdown questioned

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | Noon Aug. 15, 2015

When Southern California Edison replaced the steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear plant, state regulators allowed the utility to start billing customers for the upgrade without the benefit of what’s called a “reasonableness review.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Ratepayer group: Scrap San Onofre deal

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald
Aug. 10, 2015 – Updated –  5:07 p.m.

  • State office says customers are not getting fair shake from utility commission judge

Another consumer group that negotiated the $4.7 billion settlement of San Onofre shutdown costs backed away from the agreement Monday, withdrawing support from the deal that charges customers 70 percent of the tab for the nuclear plant’s failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

IE Business Daily

August 8, 2015

Why don’t our elected officials or the media care?

The shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generation plant permanently eliminated over 2000 Megawatts of electrical power from California’s electricity supplies. This is approximately 20 percent of Southern California’s total electrical energy supply.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Third man from Poland meeting speaks

Michael Peevey - Poland

The Hotel Bristol Warsaw, where state regulators met with a utility executive.

By Jeff McDonald | Aug. 6, 2015 – 5:37 p.m.

  • Witness says Edison executive presented San Onofre settlement vision

The third man in the room for a secret meeting in Poland two years ago says in a sworn declaration that the Southern California Edison executive at the hotel actively participated in the undisclosed talks about the failed San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Judge cites 10 violations for Edison

Michael Peevey

At a March 2013 private meeting between a utility executive and then-president Mike Peevey of the California Public Utilities Commission, a framework for the San Onofre closure deal was discussed.

By Jeff McDonald | Aug. 5, 2015 – 6:36 p.m.

  • Advocates are seeking $34 million or more in penalties for undisclosed meetings

Southern California Edison on Wednesday was found to have violated rules prohibiting backchannel communications at least 10 times in its dealings with regulators over the failed San Onofre nuclear plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Chairman still wants San Onofre emails

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | July 27, 2015 – 5:09 p.m.

State regulators do not appear ready to comply with a July 31 deadline to release thousands of emails requested by the chairman of the Assembly committee overseeing the California Public Utilities Commission.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union Tribune: Committee seeks San Onofre emails again

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | July 17, 2015

The chairman of the Assembly committee that oversees the California Public Utilities Commission has given the agency until the end of this month to secure and turn over certain emails and other documents from Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

Uber

Uber headquarters in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

By Laura J. Nelson, Andrea Chang and Paresh Dave
July 15, 2015

Uber — plagued by problems with regulators, drivers and taxi unions around the world — took a big blow in its home state Wednesday when an administrative judge recommended that the ride-sharing giant be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union Tribune: Edison sued over secret Poland talks

Michael Peevey

The Hotel Bristol Warsaw, where state regulators met with a utility executive.
Shareholder says company erred in not disclosing

By Morgan Lee | 6:13 p.m. July 9, 2015

A federal lawsuit filed this week accuses two top Edison International executives of harming shareholders by failing to disclose secret meetings with California regulators regarding a $4.7 billion settlement of costs for the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union Tribune: 2 new warrants served in CPUC case

California Department of Justice

Agents seek documents at headquarters for Edison, utilities commission
Read: Search warrants for Edison and CPUC
Download .PDF

By Jeff McDonald | July 6, 2015 – 06:00 a.m.

The criminal investigation of the California Public Utilities Commission appears to be intensifying, with state agents serving a fresh round of search warrants at the regulators’ headquarters in San Francisco and at Southern California Edison offices outside Los Angeles.

Read the rest of this entry »

Arrow

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
July 3, 2015

  • Biggest restructuring in 14 years for electricity ratepayers
  • Move affects PG&E, Edison, San Diego
  • Higher rates for up to 40 percent of customers

Regulators overhauled the state’s system for pricing electricity for millions of Californians on Friday in a move that they said will simplify the structure and bring rates closer in line with costs. Many customers who use the least amount of energy will probably see rate increases, but regulators said the system will be more fair.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Judge wants Edison’s answers

Michael Peevey

At a March 2013 private meeting between a utility executive and then-president Mike Peevey of the California Public Utilities Commission, a framework for the San Onofre closure deal was discussed.

By Jeff McDonald
June 29, 2015 – 4:54 p.m.

The judge in charge of the San Onofre matter pending before the state Public Utilities Commission is seeking more details from Southern California Edison about its participation in a secret meeting in Poland regarding shutdown costs for the failed nuclear plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Utilities: Let San Onofre deal stand

Are You Kidding Me

Edison, SDG&E, say $4.7 billion pact is in the public interest

By Jeff McDonald
June 26, 2015 – 4:58 p.m.

Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric have petitioned state regulators to reject the suggestion that the $4.7 billion settlement deal for the failed San Onofre nuclear plant be reopened.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Utility regulators held post-Poland lunch

Michel Florio

Commissioner Michel Florio of the California Public Utilities Commission, left, discussed the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant at a legislative hearing in 2013. (AP file/Rich Pedroncelli)
Peevey briefed colleague shortly after secret San Onofre meeting in Warsaw

By Jeff McDonald
June 26, 2015 – Updated: 5:16 p.m.

The regulator overseeing an investigation into the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant met privately with then-California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey days after Peevey returned from a secret meeting about the matter in Poland.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: Group seeks better deal on San Onofre closure

San Onofre

Under an agreement, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. ratepayers would pay $3.3 billion of the San Onofre shutdown costs, or 70%. Edison says the deal is “fair and reasonable.” (Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times)

By Jeff McDonald
June 24, 2015

The San Francisco consumer group that helped broker the $4.7-billion deal dividing costs for the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant said Wednesday that it no longer supports the agreement and called on regulators to reopen talks.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Francisco Chronicle: Report blasts secret talks between utilities, CPUC

CPUC

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
Monday, June 22, 2015 – Updated 7:19 pm

The ability of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and other utilities to engage in back-channel talks with top California Public Utilities Commission officials unfairly skews decisions in favor of big-money interests, and the practice should be banned in rate cases, a review requested by the state agency concluded Monday.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T-San Diego: Where did Peevey party proceeds go?

Peevey Dinner Photo

Organizers aren’t saying what happened to funds rejected by Berkeley

By Jeff McDonald
June 12, 2015 – 7:17 p.m.

Tens of thousands of dollars in proceeds from a February tribute dinner for former utility regulator Michael Peevey was turned away by the University of California after Peevey fell under the shadow of criminal investigation.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: CPUC judge had backchannel talk

CPUC

By Jeff McDonald
May 29, 2015 – 7:23 p.m.

The judge in charge of deciding whether to reopen the San Onofre settlement — and whether Southern California Edison should be sanctioned for failing to disclose private communications with regulators who approved it — was herself involved in backchannel dealings with an Edison executive.

Read the rest of this entry »

CPUC

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 05/27/15 – 8:52 PM PDT |

Residents in Southern California’s hotter regions would get some relief from the overly high electric rates they’ve been paying under a proposed decision that’s being considered by state regulators, but an alternative proposal would keep rates high.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: San Onofre deal concocted in secret

San Onofre

Reporters in 2010 were given a rare tour of the San Onofre nuclear plant in 2010, in anticipation of the installation of replacement steam generators. The flawed generators precipitated closure of the plant amid a radiation leak in 2012. — John Gastaldo

Warsaw was not the only undisclosed gathering while nuclear plant shutdown pact took shape

By Morgan Lee
May 23, 2015 – 03:48 p.m.

The public was none the wiser.

All the key parties in the room for the only public hearing on the $4.7 billion settlement agreement for shutdown costs at the failed San Onofre nuclear plant knew that the pact had its origins at a secret meeting in Poland.

Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Peevey

Investigators are looking into whether former PUC President Michael Peevey made deals with PG&E illegally. (Photo: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press 2014)

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
May 21, 2015
Updated: May 21, 2015 – 8:11pm

Investigators are looking into whether former PUC President Michael Peevey made deals with PG&E illegally.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Emails show UCLA, CPUC deal making

Michael Peevey

Peevey, at right, said grants would be ‘satisfactory to our joint purposes’.

By Jeff McDonald
May 12, 2015

Former California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey filed a public notice disclosing an email he received from UCLA regarding grants for greenhouse gas research.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Edison alliances led to San Onofre deal

SCE

Company saw window of opportunity to bring critics on board

By Morgan Lee
May 2, 2015 – 6:53 a.m.

Among the documents released this past week regarding closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant was an email showing executives with majority owner Southern California Edison cooperating with traditional adversaries with an eye toward “getting our money back.”

Read the rest of this entry »

MIchael Florio

Michel Peter Florio

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
May 2, 2015
Updated: May 2, 2015 – 11:39pm

A California Public Utilities Commission member who was present when the agency’s president pressured Southern California utilities to funnel $25 million to a pet cause last year played a pivotal role in keeping the lobbying secret, according to the account of a top utility executive.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: A shakedown by any other name

Michael Peevey

Michael Peevey is former president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Dan Morain
Editorial page editor, political affairs columnist and editorial writer
dmorain@sacbee.com
May 2, 2015

Michael Peevey is no Ron Calderon.

Peevey never would think to take $3,000 in cash to cover some kid’s tuition payment, as the feds say former state Sen. Calderon did. Nor would he ask a supposed studio executive, who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, to hire a relative.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: Edison denies misconduct in San Onofre settlement process

San Onofre

Southern California Edison Co. is the majority owner of the now-closed San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Clemente. (David McNew / Getty Images)

By Jim Peltz
April 30, 2015

Southern California Edison Co. denied that a private meeting between one of its past executives and the state’s former top utilities regulator influenced the company’s nearly $5-billion settlement of costs covering the closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Peevey

Michael Peevey

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
April 29, 2015

The former head of the California Public Utilities Commission pressured two Southern California utilities last year to make donations to a school at UCLA where he then landed a post on an advisory board, documents revealed Wednesday show.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre

By Amita Sharma
Apr 29, 2015

Sorrentino’s Pizza owner Patrick Quinn is tired of watching the energy bill at his San Diego restaurant go up each month.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Edison releases emails in San Onofre probe

SCE

By Jeff McDonald
April 29, 2015 – 6:50 p.m.

Southern California Edison responded Wednesday to an order from state utility regulators that the company hand over all of its communications about settling the costs of the premature shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre

The San Onofre nuclear power plant, shown in 2012, will not be restarted, Edison officials say. (Grant Hindsley / Associated Press)

By Marc Lifsher
April 18, 2015

Consumer advocates, outraged by a secret negotiation in Poland over the $5-billion cost of closing the San Onofre nuclear power plant, are asking the California Public Utilities Commission to reconsider a deal that sticks utility customers with the bulk of the bill.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Chairman: Scrap San Onofre deal

SCE

State Senator Ben Hueso says settlement hatched in secret in Poland shouldn’t stand

By Jeff McDonald
April 15, 2015 – 5:11 p.m.

The settlement that assigned billions of dollars in San Onofre nuclear plant closure costs to customers should be revisited after revelations about how the deal came together, the chairman of the state Senate committee overseeing utilities said.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Commission seeks Edison emails

CPUC

Regulators are considering sanctions for utility over Warsaw meeting

By Jeff McDonald
April 14, 2015 – 5:35 p.m.

The California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday ordered Southern California Edison to turn over all documents related to the potential settlement of the San Onofre closure dated between March 2013 and November 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Hotel notes show San Onofre deal hatched early

top secret

Framework was set in Poland, before public process began
By Jeff McDonald
April 10, 2015 – Updated 9:00 p.m.

Notes of a March 2013 secret meeting at a luxury hotel in Warsaw show that a $4.7 billion deal to divide shutdown costs for the failed San Onofre nuclear plant was largely in place a year before any provisions were made known to the public.

Read the rest of this entry »

SFChronicle: State regulator says PG&E may be too big to operate safely

CPUC

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
Thursday, April 9, 2015 – Updated 9:14 pm

Minutes after the California Public Utilities Commission levied a record $1.6 billion penalty against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Thursday for the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, the state’s top regulator said the utility is still plagued by gas-system problems, shrugs off even the harshest sanctions and may be too big to operate safely.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Judge will hear San Onofre suit

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Utilities chair took trip to Singapore

Singapore

A man sits by a Water Lily pond at the Marina Bay Sands in which a reflection of the financial skyline of Singapore is seen (AP file/Wong Maye-E, File)

Same nonprofit group funded Poland trip that affected San Onofre deal
By Jeff McDonald
April 6, 2015 – 5:27 p.m.

The group that funded the 2013 trip to Poland where former utilities regulator Michael Peevey sketched out plans to charge customers most of the costs of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant also paid last week for the chairman of the Assembly utilities committee to travel to Singapore.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: PUC president opposes reconsidering San Onofre cost agreement

San Onofre

An agreement to shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station assigns approximately $3.3 billion of the costs to ratepayers in Southern and Central California and $1.4 billion to two utilities.

By Marc Lifsher
April 3, 3025

The president of the scandal-rocked Public Utilities Commission has rejected a call from a powerful lawmaker to reopen a financial settlement that apportioned nearly $5 billion in costs for the June 2013 permanent closure of the damaged San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacremento Bee: Probe of back-channel dealing continues at California PUC

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
03/30/2015 12:05 AM

Michael Peevey’s announcement last fall that he would not seek reappointment to the California Public Utilities Commission appeared to offer closure to years of controversy surrounding his tenure.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: CPUC set to spend $5.2M on defense lawyers

CPUC

The agency is facing three criminal probes.

By Jeff McDonald
March 26, 2015 – 6:26 p.m.

The California Public Utilities Commission has arranged to spend as much as $5.2 million on criminal-defense lawyers to respond to ongoing state and federal investigations.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: CPUC boss had backchannel dealings

CPUC

CPUC President Michael Picker had regular communications with political insider who has Edison contract

By Jeff McDonald
March 25, 2015 – 7:54 p.m.

California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker has had regular backchannel communications with a consultant and political insider who has a West Los Angeles power deal pending before the commission.

Read the rest of this entry »

UT SanDiego: Regulator had regular chats with Edison

SCE

By Jeff McDonald
March 2, 2015 – 4:46 p.m.

Document: Commissioner Florio emails with Southern California Edison

The state utility regulator who recused himself from future Pacific Gas & Electric business after his behind-the-scenes emails were released publicly has taken part in similar backchannel discussions with Southern California Edison, newly obtained records show.

Read the rest of this entry »

LATimes: Emails show PG&E helped PUC official write safety directive

CPUC

By Marc Lifsher
February 27, 2015

In the months after the deadly 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, California regulators scrambled to order Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to improve the safety of its aging infrastructure.

Read the rest of this entry »

UTSanDiego: Utility agency taps $882-an-hour lawyer

CPUC

Regulator is responding to criminal investigations of improper contact

By Jeff McDonald
Feb. 19, 2015 – 4:56 p.m.

The California Public Utilities Commission has hired one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state to respond to investigations of improper contact between regulators and the utility companies they oversee.

Read the rest of this entry »

SFChronicle: PG&E e-mails may prove pivotal in probe of regulator

Michael Peevey

Michael Peevey, president of the state Public Utilities Commission listens to the speakers at the California Public Utilities Commission meeting, Thursday January 27, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif. (Photo: Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle / SFC)

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
Monday, February 16, 2015 – Updated 9:07 am

A Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive exploited former state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey’s intense interest in a Kern County alternative-energy project in making a backroom deal to win favorable treatment for the company, newly released e-mails show.

Read the rest of this entry »

UTSanDiego: Flawed San Onofre project steamed on

San Onofre Steam Generators

Replacement steam generators for San Onofre arrive in Oceanside in 2009. They turned out to be flawed.
The $680 million replacement generators were not subject to formal cost study.

By Jeff McDonald
Feb. 14, 2015 – Updated 4:18 p.m.

Ten years ago, when Southern California Edison wanted to replace the steam generators in its San Onofre nuclear power plant, the state Public Utilities Commission agreed to the plan without a formal review of the $680 million price tag.

Read the rest of this entry »

SacBee: California officials to fete Michael Peevey

Michael Peevey

In this Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 file photo, Michael Peevey, the president of the California Public Utilities Commission, listens to a speaker at Irvine City Hall in Irvine, Calif. (Mark Rightmire/AP)

By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
02/10/2015 3:14 PM

Amid the ongoing drip of revelations into back channel communications between Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the California Public Utilities Commission, Brown administration officials and other political heavyweights are sponsoring a tribute dinner for Michael Peevey, the embattled former president of the PUC.

Read the rest of this entry »