Water Hogs, Nuclear Power Struggles, Black Market in Cheese: The Top Local Journalism of 2015 via Voice of San Diego

Nuclear Power Struggles

In a series of damning stories for the Union-Tribune, reporter Jeff McDonald took a long look at the state’s powerful Public Utilities Commission.

Some of the reporting began back in 2014 and has been aided by former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who is involved in litigation that is turning up documents that McDonald is reporting on. Aguirre has been questioning the commission’s decision to stick ratepayers with a $3.3 billion bill related to Southern California Edison’s failure to safely operate its San Onofre nuclear plan.

But, oh, the things we learned this year from McDonald: The former head of the state commission secretly sketched out a deal with power company officials in a fancy Polish hotel. A judge involved in the case had backchannel communications with Edison, too. Some of the folks who supposedly stand up to the commission on behalf of you and me are dependent on money from the commission.

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