Labor, Customer Groups and Community-Based Organizations File Comments Supporting State Regulatory Settlement Regarding San Onofre Nuclear Plant
Media Contact: Maureen Brown, (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 8, 2014 — Parties representing labor, consumers and community-based organizations Wednesday filed comments with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) supporting a proposed agreement that would settle a commission investigation of the San Onofre nuclear plant steam generator replacement project and subsequent shutdown of the plant.
The California Large Energy Consumers Association, for example, praised the reasonable, bottom-line results of the settlement. The association, which represents industrial customers, concluded, "The conceptual approach, allowing recovery of replacement power costs but not the failed steam turbine generators, appropriately balances ratepayer and shareholder interests."
In addition, the Coalition of Utility Employees noted the settlement "strikes a fair balance so that ratepayers pay for the portions of SONGS that reliably served customers at a greatly reduced rate, the replacement power that customers consumed, but not the steam generators after they failed."
Others filing comments in support of the settlement include the Alliance for Retail Energy Markets and the Direct Access Customer Coalition. In addition, a group of community-based organizations that includes the National Asian American Coalition, Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies, Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese American Institute for Empowerment characterized the settlement as "reasonable and fair," though they suggested ways to improve it.
Supportive comments also were filed by the World Business Academy, which had actively participated in the commission proceedings as a critic of SCE's actions; it noted the settlement "potentially represents a satisfactory resolution of the contested claims assuming the commission hears from all non-settling parties and carefully considers the issues they raise." Groups filing comments opposing the settlement include the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility and the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre.
Ron Litzinger, president of Southern California Edison (SCE), noted the settlement is backed by a broad-based coalition of groups that includes CUE, The Utility Reform Network (TURN), the Office of Ratepayer Advocates of the CPUC, Friends of the Earth (which previously opposed SCE efforts to restart San Onofre), and San Diego Gas & Electric, as well as the other parties filing supportive comments.
"This proposed settlement means that customers don't pay for the steam generator project after the tube leak at San Onofre," Litzinger said. "Should the commission approve the settlement, we will implement it immediately."
He noted that resolving these regulatory issues positions SCE to move forward and safely decommission San Onofre.
"The settlement also provides a clear roadmap for SCE to pursue claims against Mitsubishi for the defective replacement steam generators it supplied for San Onofre," Litzinger said.
SCE, through the process specified in the purchase agreement for the steam generators, has submitted a request for arbitration to the International Chamber of Commerce that seeks to hold Mitsubishi accountable for the losses caused by the defective replacement steam generators.
SCE announced June 7 that it would retire San Onofre Units 2 and 3, and begin preparations to decommission the facility. SCE has established core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement to guide decommissioning. For more information about SCE, visit www.songscommunity.com.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.