SCE admits to private conversations with Peevey on SONGS closure
- Southern California Edison (SCE) admitted Monday to taking part in private conversations with former California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Chair Michael Peevey about the closure of the utility's San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS).
- Stephen Picket, a former SCE vice president, met with Peevey in a luxury hotel in Warsaw, Poland, in March 2013, the utility said. At the time, the PUC faced multibillion-dollar decisions regarding the closure of the nuclear plant, which SCE owned.
- Communication between utilities and regulators outside the normal PUC process is supposed to be reported to all interested parties within three days. U-T San Diego pointed out that SCE made this disclosure 686 days after the meeting.
Back in January, U-T San Diego reported on new email evidence that SCE executives had been close to Peevey and met with him at various locations around the world, but the content of many of the conversations was not known. Initially, SCE had said that Picket reported the conversation with Peevey as one sided — the regulator did all the talking. But on Friday, Pickett revealed that the conversations about the nuclear plant were more substantial, prompting Monday's disclosure from SCE, City News Service reports.
“While Mr. Pickett does not recall exactly what he communicated to Mr. Peevey, it now appears that he may have crossed into a substantive communication,” the company wrote in a statement. “Based on Mr. Pickett’s recounting of the conversation, the substantive communication on a framework for a possible resolution ... was made by Mr. Peevey to Mr. Pickett, and not from Mr. Pickett to Mr. Peevey.”
“This shows that Peevey was involved in the settlement, contrary to his representations,” former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre told U-T San Diego. Aguirre has been a harsh critic of the financial details of the San Onofre closing and is now suing to overturn it.
“This undermines the settlement approval of the CPUC and necessitates an investigation by the criminal authorities into whether an illegal agreement was made to settle to the case,” he said.
- U-T San Diego Meeting links CPUC probe to San Onofre
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