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Dirty Power Plant Vote Delayed for the Fifth Time:
Actions by CPUC President Peevey Questioned

 

Save the Date - March 21
 


        

 




"Our next meeting that will be in San Diego will be a spirited one of interest."

CPUC President Michael Peevey after placing yet another hold on the vote.
 

 







 

Moving the vote from San Francisco to San Diego means that
your attendance is essential to defend the public interest
.
WHEN: Thursday, March 21 at 9:00 a.m. (8 a.m. Rally at the site, so come early if you can)
WHERE: Conference Center Hearing Room, 5520 Overland Ave., San Diego, CA 92123 [Map]

SAN FRANCISCO— California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey, at the last minute and unexpectedly, delayed for the fifth time a vote on the CPUC’s Proposed Decision that would deny purchase power contracts to three dirty gas-fired power plants in San Diego. The vote affecting “Purchase Power Tolling Agreements” (PPTAs) proposed for the Pio Pico, Quail Brush, and Escondido power plants will now be moved from San Francisco to San Diego for hearing on March 21, 2013.[1] It is the exclusive role of the CPUC to determine need.
 
Unexpectedly, President Peevey pulled the item from the agenda.  This was particularly odd because Mark Ferron, the commissioner assigned to SDG&E’s application, had already revised his Proposed Decision to move it to a vote.
 
“This unfortunate and extraordinary delay demonstrates the power of insider lobbying by SDG&E and its partners.[2] However, what is extremely troublesome is that documents have come to light showing that CPUC President Peevey solicited highly inappropriate intermediary communications to the entire Commission that seriously degrades the integrity of the process,” said Van Collinsworth, Preserve Wild Santee’s executive director. “The letter that was solicited from CEC Chairman Robert Weisenmiller to promote Commissioner Peevey’s pro-gas agenda is an action prohibited by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. The best way to restore integrity to the proceeding now is for Commissioner Peevey to recuse himself from the vote.”
 
A formal motion to request Commissioner Peevey’s recusal was filed on February 26, by Attorney Todd Cardiff (on behalf of Helping Hand Tools). A Public Records Act Request forced release of emails that document the inappropriate intermediary communications.[3]
 
Commissioner Peevey clearly used Mr. Weisenmiller as a personal intermediary to communicate displeasure with CPUC Commissioner Mark Ferron’s Proposed Decision to deny the dirty power PPTAs. Peevey’s solicitation was intended to remain hidden. If it had, it would appear that CEC Chairman Wesisenmiller was taking a highly unusual action of objecting to a CPUC Proposed Decision on his own accord.[4]
 
Now there are two CPUC Commissioners that have a demonstrated lack of impartiality – newly appointed Commissioner Carla Peterman who previously voted in favor of Pio Pico at the CEC and CPUC President Michael Peevey.
 
“Governor Brown and all CPUC Commissioners should be concerned about maintaining public confidence in state decision-making that can be shattered from the use of inappropriate maneuvers by insiders,” said Van Collinsworth.


[1] March 21, 2013, 9:00 am, Conference Center Hearing Room, San Diego County Operations Center
 5520 Overland Ave., San Diego, CA 92123. CPUC
[2] Thirteen Ex Parte Communications to CPUC Commissioners have bee documented from SDG&E and its partners to CPUC commissioners attempting to change the Proposed Decision since its release November 20, 2011.
[3] “…any use of direct communication, personal intermediaries, or technological devices that is employed by a majority of the members of the state body to develop a collective concurrence as to action to be taken on an item by the members of the state body is prohibited.” Section 11122.5
[4] The California Attorney Generals Office Guide to The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act states, “So long as the body does not solicit or orchestrate such contacts, they would not be a violation of the Bagley-Keene Act. P. 7.
In this instance it is clear that President Peevey solicited and arguably orchestrated the letter from Mr. Weisenmiller sent to the other CPUC commissioners. The Weisenmiller letter was also unusual because the analysis of need is outside of the CEC’s authority.

Peevey/Weisenmiller Illegal Intermediary Communications







"SDG&E just can't get enough dirty energy...
so they want to build natural gas power plants in our area that we don't even need
-- at a cost of over $1.5 billion to ratepayers." Sierra Club Alert

The final hearing for the CPUC Proposed Decision confirming that the expensive dirty gas-fired power plants (Pio Pico - Quail Brush - Escondido) are not needed has been delayed five times due to industry lobbying behind closed doors. The CPUC final decision is now scheduled for March 21 in San Diego. Moving the vote from San Francisco to San Diego means that your attendance is essential to defend the public interest.

We also need Governor Brown to speak on behalf of the public interest and to relieve the pressure on the CPUC to rewrite their decision in favor of SDG&E/Cogentrix allowing another ratepayer rip-off.
 
Peak electricity demand has been stable in San Diego and statewide since 1999.  Generation capacity of gas-fired plants is in excess of 30% now. The Los Angeles basin will add 2,000 MW of gas-fired power plants this summer that will further balloon generation capacity. And yet another 2,000 MW are slated for construction elsewhere in California. The public would be saddled with at least $1.2 billion in construction and finance costs for just Pio Pico and Quail Brush in exchange for only 23 permanent jobs.

Ask Governor Brown to prevent this environmentally damaging public rip-off!

Proposed Quail Brush Boondoggle
Proposed Quail Brush Project 
_____________________________________________
 
Sample Message to Governor Brown:
 
Governor Jerry Brown
State Capital, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
 
RE: Support CPUC Proposed Decision A1105023, Prevent GHG Emissions from un-needed power plants and another ratepayer rip-off
 
Dear Governor Brown,
 
Please join more than 8,000 Californians that have contacted the CPUC to support the Proposed Decision regarding three un-needed power plants in San Diego County. The Proposed Decision, if adopted on January 24, can prevent the emission of over 900,000 annual tons of greenhouse gases by denying purchase power tolling agreements. The most significant of these plants are Pio Pico, estimated to release 685,000 annual tons of GHGs and Quail Brush with over 200 annual tons.
 
The public would be saddled with at least $1.2 billion in construction and finance costs for Pio Pico and Quail Brush in exchange for only 23 permanent jobs, while in contrast, a San Diego Energy District planned to accelerate the adoption of distributed roof top solar can create thousands of clean energy jobs that keep funds circulating locally.
 
The energy industry is lobbying heavily to get the CPUC Proposed Decision reversed. So, we are asking you to protect the public interest by formally supporting the Proposed Decision at the CPUC.
 
Sincerely,
John Q. Public
___________________________________
Mailing address:
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841 
Fax: (916) 558-3160
___________________________

Contact the CPUC at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov
Type in the Subject Line: A1105023 - Support the Proposed Decision 


Reference Links:
Industry Lobbying Documents

Letter from Mayor Bob Filner supporting CPUC Proposed Decision. Joint Letter from Preserve Wild Santee, California Chaparral Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, San Diego Coastkeeper, Sierra Club California, SD Green Party, Save Our Forests & Ranchlands, Cleveland National Forest Foundation, Save Mission Trails, SD Chapter Sierra Club - Run with the Sun Campaign...


Preserve Wild Santee

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Intervener in the Quail Brush Power Plant Proceedings


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