- The U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco has informed Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) it is investigating the utility's relationship with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the utility said on Monday.
- Following last month's disclosure of improper communications with CPUC staff, PG&E informed the CPUC on Monday that it believes "additional communications ... violated the CPUC’s rules regarding ex parte communications," according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The scandal was initially caused by improper communications between the utility and regulators after the scrutinized San Bruno gas pipeline explosion and during its gas transmission and storage rate case. But with the latest violations being reported, the PG&E-CPUC email scandal is deepening.
The most recent emails give the public a peek into the allegedly cozy relationship between the utility and regulators. One such email gave a summary of dinner conversations between recently fired PG&E Vice President of Regulatory Relations Brian Cherry and CPUC President Michael Peevey, according to the Los Angeles Times. At the dinner, Peevey gave the utility public relations advice and asked for donations to battle a campaign that sought to dilute California's efforts to fight global warming, the email said.
PG&E admitted to the growing list of improper communications both last month and on Monday. "We fully expect a fine to come out of this," said utility spokesman Keith Stevens.
The utility is set to appear before an administrative law judge at the CPUC on Tuesday to address contempt of commission rules charges.