Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3-4:30pm
(Please note ending time change to allow attendees to also attend San Onofre CEP meeting in Oceanside).
Mission Valley Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego CA 92108 (Next to IKEA)
PRESS RELEASE & MEDIA ADVISORY
COPS and COALITION TO DECOMMISSION SAN ONOFRE
Ratepayer Advocates Host Public Meeting In San Diego
SAN DIEGO (2014-07-15) – Opponents to the proposed $3.3 billion San Onofre settlement will host a public meeting in San Diego to shine a bright light on the back-room settlement and explain why it is a ratepayer rip-off. The meeting will be held at the Mission Valley branch of the San Diego Public Library, located next to IKEA in mission valley, Thursday July 17, from 3 to 4:30 pm. The public is welcome but seating is limited to the first 100 attendees. Doors open at 2:45, so arrive early to get a seat.
Ratepayer advocates will make presentations and open up the floor to comments. Speakers include Ray Lutz, National Coordinator for COPS, and Mike Aguirre, counsel for a party in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) San Onofre proceedings. In addition to the public, all candidates, elected and appointed officials are invited to attend, as this settlement will push up utility costs even higher than sky-high costs already a fact of life in California.
The CPUC held a public meeting in Costa Mesa, 35 miles north of the San Onofre Nuclear Station, but have refused to also hold a public meeting in San Diego County. Opponents to the settlement were limited to only 20 minutes, could not distribute materials in the room, and could not make a powerpoint presentation. This meeting will allow the opponents to the settlement sufficient time to make the case against the settlement in a venue convenient for San Diego County ratepayers.
“The worst thing about the settlement agreement is the fact that the CPUC investigation into the failure at San Onofre is stopped dead,” said Ray Lutz, national coordinator for COPS. “ CPUC proceedings were structured so that the Phase 3 investigation into the events that led to the failure at San Onofre Nuclear Station was not even started, although the Commission spent 18 months investigating side issues: what happened after the failure, toying with equations for replacement power costs, and reviewing how much of the failed plant was still ‘used and useful’. “Without a comprehensive review, no lessons are learned and mistakes will be repeated,” Lutz said.
“It’s simple. We are trying to save ratepayers up to $3.3 billion in their electric rates. SCE and SDG&E want us ratepayers to continue to pay for the abandoned plant, to cover not only their investment, but also provide a healthy return on investment “profit” as well,” continued Lutz, and a party in the CPUC investigation under the banner of the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre. “Paying for a plant — with profit — that is not operating for another ten years is well beyond what the average citizen believes is fair and appropriate.”
Michael Aguirre, former City Attorney for San Diego and counsel for a party at the proceeding commented, “We believe not only that the settlement is unfair, but it was negotiated in a manner contrary to class-action law. SCE President Ron Litzinger admitted under oath that the record of the proceeding contains nothing to support proper review by the Commission so as to allow approval. The settlement should not be approved and the proceedings should continue, and proper negotiations held.”
An investigation by Aguirre uncovered the fact that the CPUC had hired a consultant to provide a technical review of the facts surrounding the shutdown, but then inextricably pulled that contract in February, prior to the announcement of the settlement agreement. “This suggests CPUC officials were improperly aware of the settlement prior to the public announcement on March 27, and alludes to official complicity in the coverup,” Aguirre said.
The abbreviated 3-hour evidentiary hearing on May 14th included an extensive cross examination by Aguirre, culminating in cursing and yelling by Commission President Peevey when he was put on the spot regarding any secret and unlawful ex parte meetings with SCE during the many months of settlement negotiation. This outburst has become a YouTube sensation, with some groups even making a cell phone ring tone of his words, “I don’t have to answer your questions. I don’t have to answer your goddamned questions, now Shut up! Shut up!!”
Key clips of the cross examination (including Peevey’s outburst) can be found on YouTube at this URL: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1444
A video version of the presentation by COPS can be viewed on line at
Ratepayer advocates request that the public communicate their displeasure with the bailout settlement by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook event – please join and get on the list of attendees
The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre is a project of Citizens Oversight, Inc. also known as Citizens Oversight Projects, or COPS. Ray Lutz is a founder of the organization, which focuses on promoting civic engagement, and has been involved in many success stories, including helping to stop the expansion of Blackwater in San Diego County and the shut down of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, of course with the involvement of the local community in each case.