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PUC president opposes reconsidering San Onofre cost agreement via Los Angels Times

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.

In letter to the PUC last month, Lakewood Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, the chairman of the Utilities and Commerce Committee, said “it is imperative to investigate and scrutinize the entire settlement process” to assure it was “legitimate and uncorrupted.”

On Thursday in a six-page response, PUC President Michael Picker called the settlement “appropriate under the commission’s rules” and “supported by the record developed in the proceeding.”

What’s more, he added, the settlement avoided years of prolonged legal battles while providing some financial relief to ratepayers.

[…]

The agreement, which was unanimously approved by the five-member commission in November, assigns approximately $3.3 billion of the shut-down costs to ratepayers in Southern and Central California and $1.4 billion to the two utilities.

The agreement almost immediately encountered fierce criticism from San Diego County consumer advocates and nuclear power opponents around the state. But the debate got even hotter in February when Edison publicly notified the PUC of a possibly improper discussion between then-PUC President Michael Peevey and an Edison vice president.

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