Citizens Oversight

TRIAL TO REVOKE NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP PERMIT AT SAN ONOFRE BEGINS APRIL 14

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2017 (San Diego) – A lawsuit filed against the California Coastal Commission (CCC) by Citizens Oversight, a citizens’ watchdog group based in El Cajon, heads to trial beginning Friday, April 14 at 2 p.m. in San Diego Superior Court, Dept. C68 (330 West Broadway, San Diego).

ATTORNEY GENERAL PROBE WEIGHS POSSIBLE CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST EX-CPUC PRESIDENT PEEVEY

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2015 (San Diego) –California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office may file criminal charges against Michael Peevey,  former president of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), over back-room dealings concerning a settlement deal over the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear facility.

A sworn affidavit by Specia Agent Reye Diaz with the Attorney General’s office in late September and recently unsealed reveals  that Diaz found “probable cause to believe” that Peevey and Southern California Edison vice president Stephen Pickett  “conspired to obstruct justice” by knowingly engaging in illegal private communications to craft a shut-down deal advantageous to Edison, but  disadvantageous to other interested parties.

SAN DIEGO ATTORNEYS FIGHT "MOST IRRESPONSIBLE NUCLEAR DUMP EVER" IN FEDERAL COURT

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (San Diego) – On November 3rd, the  utility fraud attorneys at Aguirre & Severson  filed an action in Superior Court seeking to prevent construction of  the world’s first beach-front nuclear waste dump at San Onofre, or what critics call the “most irresponsible nuclear dump ever,” according to a press release issued by the attorneys, who filed the suit on behalf of Citizens Oversight.

The California Coastal Commission is chartered to protect our state’s coastal resources. But on October 6 approved the dump just 100 feet from the beach near San Onofre State Park in San Diego County to hold nuclear waste that remains toxic for thousands of years. Wastes would be stored in thin-walled steel casks guaranteed by the manufacturer to last only 10 years, though the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved them for up to 20 years of use. Salt water spray soaking casks could result in even earlier corrosion, yet there is no plan to remove casks even after 20 years. By then, the casks, each weighing 400,000 pounds, are apt to have degraded to the point where moving them safely would be nearly impossible, a press release issued by plantiff's attorneys contends.

Attorney Mike Aguirre called the Coastal Commission’s unanimous vote “an outrageous departure from its chartered responsibilities and the California Coastal Act,” adding, “We want the court to revoke Southern California Edison’s permit to pollute, and force Edison to find a safer location.”  The suit seeks revocation of the permit for the dump.

ALEC HOLDS NATIONAL CONVENTION IN SAN DIEGO JULY 22; PROTESTS EXPECTED TO DRAW THOUSANDS

 

East County News Service

July 19, 2015 (San Diego) – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)  will host its annual convention on Wednesday, July 22 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. The organization is funded by corporations and pushes state legislators to introduce “model” legislation that it calls “pro-business.”  Speakers include Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee. The conference also will include other state and national legislators from across the nation.

But progressive organizations are mobilizing thousands of people for a march, rallies and protests against ALEC, which critics say pushes forward anti-worker, anti-environmental measures drafted behind closed doors.  Local State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) chairs ALEC’s California chapter.

CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT FILES MOTION TO HAVE SAN ONOFRE CPUC JUDGE DARLING REMOVED

 

Darling named in felony search warrants, initiated phone calls with SCE executives, now defends new CPUC President Picker from oversight committee requests

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2015 (San Diego) – Citizens' Oversight filed legal documents on July 14th with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), making the case for reassignment of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Melanie Darling from the sanctions phase of proceedings on the San Onofre Nuclear plant.  The July 14 motion would remove Darling from hearing the investigation into sanctions for violations of ex parte rules during the San Onofre proceeding--an action which could have substantial impacts for ratepayers statewide..

JUDGE RULES SAN ONOFRE SETTLEMENT CASE SHOULD NOT BE HEARD IN FEDERAL COURT

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2015 (San Onofre) - A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by Citizens Oversight on behalf of ratepayers challenging the San Onofre settlement agreement should be heard in state court, not federal.

SAN ONOFRE SETTLEMENT APPROVED, LOCAL GROUP PLEDGES COURT BATTLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 2, 2014 (San Onofre) - By a unanimous vote, the California Public Utilities Commission has approved the $3.3 billion San Onofre settlement. No public comment was allowed at the hearing, which was held in San Francisco despite the fact that the ratepayers impacted all live in Southern California.

SETTLEMENT REACHED OVER SAN ONOFRE: RATEPAYERS TO RECEIVE REFUNDS IF CPUC APPROVES DEAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2014 (San Diego)—After the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) were shut down in 2012 due to faulty steam generators, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) continued to charge ratepayers for the costs associated with replacing those generators.  Edison later announced permanent decommissioning of the nuclear facility in June 2013 due to serious safety problems.

Ratepayers will be receiving refunds from SDG&E and Edison for those charges, if a joint settlement agreement announced today is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  The settlement was reached SCE, the CPUC Office of Ratepayer Advocates, and The Utility Reform Network (TURN).

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT SAYS CPUC VIOLATED OPEN MEETING LAWS



Demand Letter is the First Step to Legal Action



June 16, 2013 (San Diego) -- Citizens' Oversight, an organization that encourages citizens to take an active role in oversight of their democracy, submitted a demand letter to the California Public Utilities Commission on June 11 alleging that the CPUC violated open meeting laws by halting the group’s representative, Ray Lutz (photo, left), from videotaping  a recent public meeting on the San Onofre nuclear plant held in San Francisco.  The watchdog group’s letter seeks removal of the CPUC’s administrative law judge from the proceedings and other remedies.

Martha Sullivan with the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre said, "It was disheartening to see the CPUC judge presiding over this investigation of multi-billion dollar regulated utilities be more concerned with their privacy than allowing the Southern California public to observe the evidentiary hearings."

SABOTAGE SUSPECTED AT SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

Despite disturbing finding, Edison seeks to restart trouble-prone nuclear facility

Hearing Nov. 30 in Laguna Hills as nine cities voice concerns over safety issues

By Miriam Raftery

November 30, 2012 (San Diego)—Southern California Edison has notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of possible sabotage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating facility, after finding coolant poured in the oil reservoir of an emergency backup generator at Unit 3, Energy News reports.

The FBI is taking over the investigation and criminal charges are possible, according to a plant employee who spoke under condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals, Huffington Post reported yesterday. The NRC has confirmed that Edison reported potential sabotage,Energy News reported.

"The FBI is aware of the alleged security incident that occurred at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating (SONGS) Station.  The FBI is presently reviewing the facts and circumstances concerning this incident," Special agent Darrell Foxworth with the FBI told ECM. "At this time there is no indication that this incident is terrorism related."

Previous news stories have speculated that a disgruntled employee could be the culprit due to recent layoff announcements.

Failure of emergency generators at Fukushima were key factors in that plant’s meltdown last year.  A meltdown at San Onofre would force evacuation of San Diego, portions of East County and also parts of Orange and Riverside counties and could potentially leave the region contaminated for generations.

ASSEMBLYMAN ANDERSON HOSTS HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE TONIGHT IN EL CAJON

Protest planned outside over donation controversy

December 8, 2009 – Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) invites constituents to his annual open house from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at his offices at 500 Fesler Street, Suite 201, in El Cajon. Guests will be offered hors d’hoeuvres and refreshments as well as an opportunity to meet their legislator and have a photo taken with him. In the past, the event has drawn hundreds of visitors.

STOP BLACKWATER VICTORY PARTY NOV. 20

 

November 18, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Citizens Oversight, an East County-based watchdog group, led a successful effort to convince Southwestern College to terminate its agreement with Xe (formerly known as Blackwater) for training of local law enforcement students. Now Citizens Oversight invites the public to join a “Stop Blackwater!” victory celebration on November 20th .