Let the sunshine in on PUC’s San Onofre deal
The California Public Utilities Commission votes Thursday on releasing vital records showing whether the government secretly helped Southern California Edison stick ratepayers with 70 percent of a $4.7 billion bill for the flawed San Onofre nuclear power plant.
Former PUC President Michael Peevey, now under criminal investigation, and SCE cut the illegal deal, but we don’t know if Gov. Jerry Brown’s office helped. At stake is whether the state keeps blocking the sunshine onto its own corruption.
Attorneys Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson have petitioned under the Public Records Act for 124 communications between PUC President Michael Picker, the governor’s office, and others about the settlement. The PUC’s excuses to keep records secret — from “deliberative process” to trade secrets — just don’t wash. Possible obstruction of justice, fraud, and other crimes are legitimately the public’s business. The PUC should release the communications immediately, and renegotiating the settlement should be taken out of its hands entirely.