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.

Because it tried, Edison shouldn’t be fined the maximum $34 million for failing to disclose those communications, it argued. And besides, nobody really got hurt.

“What harm was caused by virtue of the violation?” Edison wrote in response to an administrative law judge’s ruling, asking the company to detail why it shouldn’t be fined and held in contempt. “The failure to report the March 26, 2013, Warsaw meeting did not significantly harm the regulatory process, beyond the harm inherent in any rule violation.”

The now-famous Warsaw meeting, at the Hotel Bristol in Poland, was between former California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey and then-Edison Executive Vice President Stephen Pickett. There, on hotel stationery, Pickett scribbled the framework of “a possible resolution” to the San Onofre shutdown debacle that’s stunningly similar to the one ultimately adopted.

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