Southern California Edison Responds to CPUC Judge's Ruling
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 20, 2015 — Southern California Edison (SCE) today responded to a ruling by a California Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge regarding SCE's communication with commission officials.
The administrative law judge's ruling, while not finding that any of SCE's communications with commission officials were prohibited under the rules, found that several should have been reported. In a reply submitted today to the commission, SCE said it did not believe it engaged in any communications that were reportable under commission rules except for one March 2013 meeting which SCE voluntarily disclosed last Feb. 9 after learning new information.
Today's filing is part of the commission's proceeding regarding the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant. The judge's ruling found that the vast majority of SCE's communications with commission officials complied with the rules, but also found that 10 such communications, while permitted under the rules, should have been reported.
SCE disputed nine communications and acknowledged one that should have been reported — a March 26, 2013 meeting. SCE noted there is no evidence this meeting affected the negotiation of the San Onofre settlement, and a declaration of a commission employee who attended the meeting confirmed that no agreement was reached.
"SCE strives to comply with the commission's rules by exhibiting the highest standards of ethics and integrity," said Pedro Pizarro, president of SCE. "SCE believed the March 2013 meeting was not reportable under the commission's rules, based on the information provided at the time. It was not until early 2015 that SCE learned additional information that indicated a report should be filed."
In addition to the voluntary ex parte notice filed earlier this year, Pizarro noted SCE has strengthened its internal procedures to promote compliance with the commission's rules governing ex parte communication.
SCE pointed out that parties who most vociferously seek the imposition of penalties against SCE have themselves engaged in unreported communications with decision-makers. One such party is even seeking to be compensated for time spent by its personnel engaging in such communications. SCE believes the ambiguity of existing rules underscores the importance of the commission's advocacy for a transparent process to govern the necessary exchange of information between the commission and those it regulates.
In April 2014, six parties, representing consumer, environmental and labor interests as well as SCE and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., proposed a settlement of the commission's proceeding on San Onofre. The commission, after an extensive and public proceeding, unanimously approved the settlement.
SCE is focused on safely decommissioning San Onofre, guided by core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement. SCE has established a Community Engagement Panel to support those principles. For more information, visit 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.