Utility scandal may impact nuke settlement via U-T San Diego

A San Diego-based consumer coalition wants placed on hold a multibillion-dollar settlement proposal for nuclear plant costs at San Onofre, in response to revelations of cozy relations between a utility and two state utility commissioners in a separate case.

The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre on Friday requested a stay until further inquiries are completed into a judge-swapping scandal at the California Public Utilities Commission involving Pacific Gas & Electric executives.

PG&E sought to have a particular judge assigned to a proceeding on natural gas and transmission rates in email exchanges with Commission President Michael Peevey and Commissioner Mike Florio and their staffs, according to records released by the company. The utilities commission also has been under fire for its handling of the deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in Northern California at San Bruno, where city officials released emails as evidence that Peevey and Florio coddled PG&E in the aftermath of the disaster.

Peevey and Florio, meanwhile, have directly overseen two years of deliberations on the shutdown of San Onofre and who should pay for an estimated $4.6 billion in leftover cost and unrecovered investments — utility customers or corporate stockholders.

Peevey was questioned at a hearing in May about his role, if any, in reaching a settlement agreement on San Onofre, and whether he had any meetings with nuclear plant operator Southern California Edison. Peevey swore and angrily refused to answer.

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