Stick It to the Ratepayers? ‘Not so fast,’ says San Diego attorney team
A once – and (hopefully) future – leader in planetarian energy policy, California is, at the moment, an epicenter of energy policy conflicts, confusion and corruption.
It’s Public Utilities Commission – born of early 20th century populist outrage at Robber Barron’s criminality in the hope of protecting the public good against the onslaught of corporate greed and criminality – has now succumbed to the Iron Law of Regulatory Corruption and is due for a major institutional shake-up.
[ This article is cross-posted at NoNukesCA.net ]
Mired in multiple federal, state and local, investigations and evidence-based alligations of major corruption, ex parte communications, and backroom dealings between Commission officials and the executives of the monopoly utilities they are supposed to be regulating, the CPUC has circled the wagons and hired a top-of-the-line million dollar law firm to defend it against advocates of the public interest.
In the center of this controversy are law partners Maria (Mia) Severson and Mike Aguirre – both of them former San Diego City Attorneys.
Representing a ratepayer client, the Severson-Aguirre team has waged a relentless legal battle which has helped expose the utter dysfunctionality and corruption of California’s current energy regulatory regime.
Their work, along with organizations like the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, EMR Safety Network, and Friends of the Earth (FoE), has helped force the release of a spate of e-mails revealing a deep systemic pattern of collusion and corruption between utility executives and Commission officials and staff, consistently aligned against the public interest.
The massive e-mail releases – not yet fully analyzed by researchers and investigators – call into serious question the legality and validity of all the recent rulings of the CPUC, including those relating to San Onofre, Diablo Canyon and the deployment of electro-toxic, wireless, privacy-violating, so-called ‘smart meters.’
The illegal attempt to foist the bulk of the costs of the Southern California Edison/Mitsubishi steam-generator screw-up at the now permanently shut down San Onofre nuclear plant on ratepayers – detailed in this exclusive EON interview with attorney Mia Severson – is only the tip of the CPUC corruption ice berg. Stay tuned…
On background, here is our 2014 interview with Mike Aguirre: