- New email evidence reveals extensive inappropriate contact between former California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Chair Michael Peevey and executives with Southern California Edison (SCE), U-T San Diego reports Earlier email evidence revealing inappropriate contact with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) executives forced Peevey’s resignation at the end of last year.
- Email records show Peevey engaging in questionable conversations with SCE employees at a time the commission faced multi-billion dollar decisions concerning the closure of SCE's San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The messages show that the history of close contact between regulator and regulated at the CPUC goes beyond the handling of PG&E's deadly 2010 explosion San Bruno natural gas pipeline.
- The new revelations came in emails released after a California Public Records Act request from San Diego attorney Maria Severson, who is suing the CPUC and SCE over the SONGS closure settlement.
State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Bruno) has called for greater disclosure about interactions between the CPUC and the state’s utilities in response to the email revelations.
It is considered unethical for commissioners to be in contact with utilities when regulatory decisions concerning them are pending, although the utilities may address communications to the five decision-makers jointly.
Emails to and from Peevey show him, a former head of SCE, in frequent independent contact with SCE and PG&E executives at bars and restaurants, in private phone calls, and even abroad.
“The emails produced by the CPUC show the utilities have direct, private access to the judges that determine how deep the utilities can reach into the pockets of Californians,” Severson said. “Going forward, it is a corroded spigot running filthy with greed and lies.”
“I’m not here to answer your goddamned questions,” Peevey replied to San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre when asked last May about such inappropriate contacts. “Now shut up — shut up!”