- Pacific Gas & Electric has released an additional 65,000 emails between the utility and state regulators, once again revealing a close relationship among executives and former California Public Utilities Commission head Michael Peevey.
- Associated Press reports the emails show the utility coordinating with regulators on its response to the 2010 San Bruno explosion which killed eight people, and on other issues such as the location of a power plant or licensing renewals.
- A utility spokesperson told AP that while the company makes "no excuses for past instances of unethical conduct," regular communication with regulators is necessary.
Details of the cozy relationship shared between state regulators and officials at PG&E continue to illuminate a regulatory regime that included bottles of wine, private meetings and coordinated responses to major events.
The utility has released new 65,000 emails which vividly show back channel communications. AP quoted one from former PG&E Vice President Brian Cherry, sent to Peevey in 2010, in which he wrote: "Sara and I will be in Sea Ranch this weekend. If you are up there, we'd love to share a good bottle of Pinot or Cab with you. My treat."
The emails show the utility coordinating with regulators as to how it would deal with the San Bruno fallout and vocal criticism from The Utility Reform Network. The release is just the latest in a slow-moving scandal which does not show signs of abating. State investigators recently searched Peevey's home, removing computers and other items related to the investigation. Investigators also searched the home of Cherry, and in November agents searched the office of Paul Clanon, who has since retired from his post as executive director of the CPUC.
PG&E spokesman Keith Stephens told the Associated Press that "while we make no excuses for past instances of unethical conduct, we have a vital responsibility to communicate with the CPUC on a regular basis."