Analysis: (scroll down for news coverage of the breakdown)
Why did the President of the Public Utilities Commission hurl expletives at the Honrable Mike Aguirre during his cross-examination of Southern California Edison CEO Ronald Litzinger?
Many have called it a "mental breakdown" on the part of Michael Peevey, but the truth may be far more odious: Peevey was probably protecting the financial welfare of his former employer, Southern California Edison (SCE). Aguirre & Severson LLP has spent thousands of hours to prevent a proposed multi-million dollar bailout of SCE's failed nuke plant at San Onofre.
When it became obvious that Mr. Aguirre's questions were exposing the fraudulent nature of the bailout, Peevey lost his composure, screaming "Shut Up! Godammit! Shut up!" Peevey's "mental breakdown" and the efforts of Adminsitrative Law Judge Darling to stop Aguirre's line of questioning were caught on video by Ray Lutz of Citizen's Oversight who published the hearings (along with the complete cross examination) on YouTube.
In May of 2014, CPUC, the California Public Utilities Commission held a three hour hearing to determine if it was okay to approve a secretly negotiated settlement that shifted the financial responsibility for the failure of the nuclear generators at San Onofre from its owner -- Southern California Edison -- onto the backs of the ratepayers.
Research by Aguirre & Severson had shown that although the settlement has been touted as a ratepayer "refund" by the CPUC, that the claim of a refund was extremely deceptive. Aguirre's research showed that the "refund" would actually cost ratepayers $3.3 billion.
Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that thousands of hours of research by Aguirre & Severson have raised difficult questions about the the competency of SCE's leadership. This research strongly suggest that SCE's management may have risked millions of lives with a defective design simply for the sake of greed.
Moreover, approval of the settlement in that hearing would have stopped an investigation into why Southern California Edison knowingly installed an unlicensed, unapproved nuclear generator design. By installing and operating these unlicensed nuclear generators, SCE knowingly endngered the health the 8 million people who live within 50 miles of the nuclear reactor. If this settlement, which is still pending, is approved, the public will never know if SCE "acted unreasonably" when it deployed defective and unlicensed nuclear generators.
Why it was important for Peevey to STOP the hearing.
The public hearing only gave three hours to the citizens and attorneys who are opposed to the secretly negotiated settlement (remember, it falsely touted a $3.3 billion rate hike as a "refund"). Mr,. Aguirre's questions were exposing the illegitimate nature of the entire regulatory process. It is improper to try and "settle" a $3.3 billion claim within three hours.
Peevey's criminal indictments
After 12 years of "public service" Mr. Peevey has been forced to resign under a cloud of suspicion. The U.S. attorney's office has filed a criminal indictment in connection with the San Bruno explosion. At the same time, both the U.S. Department of Justice and the California attorney general's office have been looking into the improper contacts between the utility and PUC commissioners and top executives.
San Diego Reader, May 27 2014: Peeved Peevey hints at CPUC's disarray. Reporter Don Bauder notes that CPUC president Michael Peevey's mental breakdown, where he screamed "Shut up! Shut up! (see the live video) I don't have to answer your Goddamned questions!" may be an indication that Peevey's efforts to bail out his former employer at public expense may be threatened ...
West Side Today, May 23, 2014, Controversy over San Onofre Settlement The head of the California Public Utilities Commission has publicly made comments that indicate he had private meetings with Southern California Edison executives ...
CBS News 8, May 22, 2014, Fight over San Onofre Goes Nuclear
Dominic Garcia -- Newly-released video shows the president of the California Public Utilities Commission swearing at a recent hearing when he's asked about the billion-dollar settlement involving the plant's shutdown costs ...
East County Magazine, May 21, 2014, CPUC Chair Curses, refuses to answer (San Francisco) -"I'm not here today to answer any of your goddamn questions. Shut up, shut up!" California Public Utilities Chairman Michael Peevey shouted at former City Attorney, the Honorable Mike Aguirre, during a videotaped evidentiary hearing on the $3.3 billion bailout ...
ABC 10 News, May 22, 2014, CPUC president curses consumer advocate Reporter Michael Chen covers Michael Peevey's embarrassing outburst and explains why Mr. Peevey may have lost all of his composure during questioning that threatens to undermine the multi-billion dollar bailout of his former employer
Southern California Edison.
San Diego 6 News, May 22, 2014, San Onofre Settlement Discussions Get Hot When the opponents of a proposed bailout related to the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station questioned the California Public Utilities Commission
President about his secret meetings with Southern California Edison, Michael Peevey erupted in a profane outburst ...
San Diego Union Tribune, May 21, 2014, Utility regulator cusses, avoids questions. The president of the California Public Utilities Commission swore and angrily refused to answer questions last week at an unusual hearing at which he was asked about
communications with his former employer, Southern California Edision ...
KUSI Prime Time News, May 14, 2014: Mike Aguirre fights coverup. Investigative reporter Michael Turko exposes how the phony settlement hearingsscheduled in San Francisco this afternoon are meant to thwart a legally-required investigation of Southern California Edison's decision to install nuclear equipment the utility knew was a new and dangerous design.
San Diego Union Tribune, May 11, 2014, Who pays for a worthless power plant? This story explains how billions of ratepayer dollars are at stake as opposed to thephony claims of $1.4 Billion in refunds.
San Diego Union Tribune, May 10, 2014, Nuclear deal slams consumers. Veteran energy and business reporter Dan McSwain estimates a total bill for the bailout atmore than $13.6 billion (roughly $1,400 per electric meter on average), saying "It's
hard to argue that consumers should pay a nickel for it."
Chicago Tribune, May 9, 2014, Battle over San Onofre Nuke plant costs gains steam San Diego County lawyer, the Honorable Michael J. Aguirre and local activist groups say that Edison and SDG&E should pay for the bulk of San Onofre's costs because Edison executives' "unreasonable" actions contributed to the failure of the steam generators, he said. "The burden falls on the shoulders of the investors," Aguirre "not on the ratepayers.
San Diego Reader, May 8, 2014: Electricity Refund? Not in California. Don Bauder exposes how TURN, the Utility Reform Network, teamed up with its friends at the California Public Utility Commission to sell a massiveutility bailout program as a "refund."
Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2014: Battle over San Onofre gaining steam. This story corrects an erroneous LA Times story promoted heavily by TURN which states fraudulently that the proposed settlement delivers $1.4 billion in "refunds." It explains that if the proposed secret settlement is approved, at least $3.3 billion of the costs of San onofre will be paid by you, the ratepayer.
CBS News 8 San Diego, May 6, 2014: San Onofre Settlement will end up costing the public. Reporter Richard Allyn covers an event where prominent consumer advocates are calling TURN, The Utility Reform Network a "Judas" that "Stabbed ratepayers in the back" for making false public claims that consumers are getting "$1.4 million in refunds."
Los Angeles Daily News, May 5, 2014: PUC Kabuki dance extends to San Onofre Thomas Elias compares the monstrous natural gas disaster at San Bruno, which wascause by lax regulation, to San Onofre, comparing it to kabuki, where the results of investigations and hearings are scripted in favor of the big utilities who profit fromthe largesse of do-nothing regulators at the Public Utility Commission.
Los Angeles Business Journal, May 5, 2014: Customers pay for San Onofre fail Scott Bridges explains in an interview with Mike Aguirre how this deal doesn'trefund $1.4 billion, rather it will cost $3.3 billion.
San Diego Reader, May 3, 2014, Public Utilities Rape of the Ratepayers
Orange County Register, April 21, 2014: Closing San Onofre to cost $3.3 billion Reporter Tom Berg interviews the Honrable Mike Aguirre to illustrate how a $4.7 billion debt hasbeen fraudulently portrayed as a $1.4 billion refund by utilities, the CPUC, and the alleged advocates at TURN, The Utility Reform Network.
KUSI Prime Time News, May 2, 2014: San Onofre Settlement: No Victory at all! Investigative reporter Michael Turko exposes the sham settlement which is designed to prevent an investigation into wrongdoing by Southern California Edison.
San Diego Union Tribune, April 18, 2014, Nuke Plant to cost customers $3.3B This story by cub reporter Morgan Lee corrects a previous UT story touting $1.4 billion in refundsand clarifies that not only will there be no "refunds" but that if the proposed settlementis approved it will cost consumers $3.3 Billion.
KUSI News, April 14, 2014: Refund sparks uncertainty Reporter Kristen Cusato interviews Mike Aguirre, who explains that the utilities are playing a shell game with the consumers' money and why reports of a $1.4 billion refund are fraudulent.
Public Television Evening Edition, April 14, 2014: (scroll to minute 3:55 of video) Exposes the fraudulent scheme to portray a $3.3 billion bill as a $1.4 billion "refund."