Michael Peevey Negotiated Failed Edison Bailout Plan Last Year
Santa Monica, CA — Governor Davis has appointed former Edison executive, Michael Peevey, to fill an open seat at the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Consumer advocates are highly critical of Governor Davis’s appointment as a result of Mr. Peevey’s longstanding relationship to the regulated and unregulated energy industry and his work last year as a liason between the Governor and Edison. Peevey was hired by the Governor to negotiate a publicly opposed ratepayer bailout of Southern California Edison.
“Governor Davis has once again placed the power industry ahead of the public in appointing former Edison executive Michael Peevey to the PUC,” said consumer advocate Doug Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. “It is outrageous that the Governor would make someone with such long-standing ties to the energy industry one of the state’s chief energy regulators.”
Governor Tries to Hide Problematic Appointment By Announcing It on Election Day
Commissioner Richard Bilas announced his resignation from the post last week. Consumer advocates are suspicious of the Governor’s timing of this announcement. Not only was there little time for public comment, the Governor announced it on a day that the news media will be focused on election coverage.
“It seems as though the Governor is trying to hide this appointment from the public by announcing it on a day when Californians are following other news. Michael Peevey creates such apparent conflicts of interest, that the Governor probably doesn’t want Californians to know about it,” said Heller.
Peevey is a former President of Edison International and Southern California Edison, which is regulated by the PUC. One of his recent ventures, New Energy, Inc., was sold in 1999 for approximately $100 million to energy giant AES (a power profiteer fined last year for market manipulation in California). Peevey is currently a director of Excelergy, whose clients include Sempra Energy, whose subsidiary San Diego Gas and Electric is regulated by the PUC. Also on the list of clients is Allegheny Energy Services. Both Allegheny and Sempra are named in the PUC‘s complaint to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking to overturn overpriced long-term power contracts.