California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) president Michael R. Peevey wishes to be forgiven for his several decades as a senior executive, including president, of Southern California Edison:
“I left there in March, 1993, over 19 years ago. I assume I get some pardon some time for having worked there” he stated today to KPFA reporter Sally Schilling (URL below). He continued, “Even if you’re a convicted felon you get your voting rights back after a certain period of time.”
Well, not necessarily — it depends on the crime. And Peevey’s crimes didn’t stop when he left SCE, they had only just begun. As head of the CPUC he not only approved the faulty steam generator replacement at San Onofre, and billions of dollars in profits for his former employer (from whom he surely gets a substantial retirement income), he is now stalling an investigation of what went wrong at the facility.
It’s nice to have friends in high places. I sure wish I had a friend like Peevey!
His many global “working vacation” jaunts with SCE and other utility executives strongly suggests he’s still in bed, still in cahoots, still in collusion with them. He’s their blocker. He rules the CPUC like a lord in his manor. He’ll ask the other commissioners for their opinion, and then cut them off before they can give it.
However, Peevey has (FINALLY) realized that San Onofre is in terrible shape.
His comments followed public testimony today at the CPUC hearing by half a dozen activists. (A transcript of my own comments appears below.)
During public testimony, Barbara George of Woman’s Energy Matters (WEM) stated that she had heard rumors about the possible sale of San Onofre to a nuclear fleet company based outside California. This would take away most of the CPUC’s control of SanO. When talking to the KPFA reporter, Peevey stated bluntly: “Nobody would ever buy that plant. That is just inaccurate. Who would want to buy a non-operating nuclear plant? Nobody.”
Let’s hope not.
But even knowning what shape the plant is in, the CPUC under Peevey refuses to start an investigation into what’s gone wrong there, which plays directly into SCE’s hand: It keeps the plant on the books, allowing SCE to collect 54 million dollars every month from ratepayers — for producing nothing. California is currently setting up a joint task force of agencies to look into the problems at San Onofre. This special task force is not required to seek input from anyone. It’s just another way to delay the final decision and keep money pouring out of our pockets and into Edison’s.
This waiting game is costly and pointless. The proper thing to do is to decommission San Onofre NOW. Unfortunately CPUC president and unconvicted felon Michael R. Peevey, with his blinders on and his close ties to the plant, might be the last person on earth to realize it.