Sempra

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT FILES PETITION WITH CPUC CALLING FOR INVESTIGATION INTO ALISO CANYON GAS LEAK

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy SoCalGas

January 31, 2016 (San Diego) — “The worst environmental disaster in California history is continuing to occur without any investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC),” says Raymond Lutz, founder of Citizens Oversight in El Cajon.  Now, Citizens Oversight has filed a petition along with Consumer Watchdog and Paul E. Hunt, calling on the CPUC to hold an open investigation into the Aliso Canyon/Porter Ranch methane gas leak north of Los Angeles.

METHANE LEAK AT ALISO CANYON COULD BE STOPPED BY LATE FEB.: COMPANY HALTS PROPOSAL TO BURN OFF GAS AND ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CLOSE WELL AFTER SEALING IT

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2016 (Los Angeles) – Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) announced yesterday that its relief well drilling to stop the massive Aliso Canyon natural gas leak north of Los Angeles is “proceeding ahead of schedule and the company expects to stop the leak by late February, if not sooner.” 

The relief well drilling began December 4th and must reach a depth of 8,500 feet.  “Once the well is sealed, it will be taken out of service permanently,” a SoCalGas press release states.

In addition, the company announced it has abandoned its earlier proposal for a gas capture system to burn off leaking gas because of safety concerns expressed by its engineers. State regulators had also expressed concerns that the plan could potentially result in a fire.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

September 23, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

SEMPRA'S DEBRA REED RANKED AMONG FORTUNE'S 'MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS' IN 2015

 

Source: Sempra

September 14, 2015 (San Diego) – For the fifth consecutive year, Fortune magazine has named Debra L. Reed, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), to the magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” list.  Reed is ranked No. 23 in 2015, up from No. 30 last year.

SCREENPLAY ALLEGES COVERUP OF CEDAR, WITCH CREEK AND PARADISE FIRES

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2015 (San Diego)—Circling the Wagons, a screenplay by Ed Clark, an electrical engineer and insurance investigator, alleges that an electrical design flaw caused the 2003 Cedar Fire as well as the 2007 Witch Creek and Paradise fires.  Moreover, he contends the flaws have not been fixed and public safety remains at risk.  San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) denies those claims.

SDG&E PULLS OUT OF NATIONAL UTILITY RATE SURVEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2014 (San Diego) – For years, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has ranked highest in the nation—or nearly so--for the most expensive utility rates in America.  The annual survey is conducted by Jacksonville Electric Authority.

But now SDG&E has stopped providing its data to Jacksonville in 2013, after the company received bad publicity for its high rates.  So San Diegans no longer know where our city ranks in utility rates.

East County Magazine asked SDG&E why it stopped participating in the survey. Stephanie Donovan, senior communications manager for SDG&E, sent this response:

SIERRA CLUB: CHAMBER PROMOTING “SHAM” SITE THAT MISLEADS CONSUMERS ON UTILITY RATE PROPOSAL

 

CPUC holds public hearings Thursday, Sept. 18 in El Cajon on controversial utility rate change proposals

East County News Service

September 11,2014 (El Cajon) – Sierra Club’s San Diego chapter is warning consumers about deceptive claims made by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce regarding proposed changes in utility bills, including links to a utility-backed website debunked by media for its efforts to dupe the public into supporting anti-consumer measures.

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings  on the utility-backed proposed rate changes on September 18 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in El Cajon City Council chambers,200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon. The public is invited to attend and testify.

The Chamber sought to persuade members to testify in favor of proposed utility rate changes, suggesting they would save money for most. But those changes  would actually “raise energy costs for low and middle income customers, those who can least afford to pay more on their energy bill,” says Pete Hasapopoulos with the Sierra Club My Generation Campaign. In addition, he warns, “the proposed changes by utilities are unacceptable and threaten our energy efficiency and rooftop solar programs. As a result, they are deeply out of line with state and public priorities on energy and climate.”

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).

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SDG&E’S NEW “ECO” SUBSTATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 15, 2014 (Jacumba)—Wayne Brammer sent in these photos of SDG&E’s new Eco Substation in Jacumba. The project is (so-named for hooking up to industrial-scale renewable energy projects. But to most backcountry residents, the project is an ecological disaster that destroyed the landscape and used three times more water (90 million gallons total) than SDG&E estimated.

“This thing is a monster and they’re wasting water all over the place, not just here but all the way to Boulevard,” writes Bramley, referencing other energy projects in the pipeline.  “We really do need to separate from the city and have our own county,” he concluded, linking back to a reader’s editorial on this issue.

SEMPRA ENERGY TRUCK SEIZED IN HIT AND RUN FATALITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Victim identified as Robert Fisher, 54

January 10, 2014 (El Cajon)  -- El Cajon Police today announced that investigators have recovered a work truck owned by SDG&E/Sempra Energy that police believe fled the scene after striking a pedestrian on January 6th shortly after 10 p.nm. at Main Street and Jamacha Road. 

The pedestrian, Robert Fisher, 54, was later struck by a second vehicle and died at the scene.

“The vehicle seized is a white 2008 Ford 550 work truck owned by SDGE/Sempra Energy. Current evidence indicates the vehicle was not operating in an official, on-duty capacity at the time of the collision,” said Lt. R. Soulard with El Cajon Police. “SDG&E/Sempra Energy has been fully cooperative in this investigation,” Lt. Soulard added.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

January 2, 2013--(San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

 EAST COUNTY

SAN DIEGO REGION

STATE

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

SEMPRA ENERGY FOUNDATION DONATES $50,000 TO ASSIST EAST COAST STORM VICTIMS

November 1, 2012 (San Diego) – Sempra Energy Foundation today pledged $50,000 in disaster-relief assistance funds to East Coast storm victims. In support of Sempra Energy companies’ employee giving efforts, the Foundation also will be matching up to an additional $50,000 in employee donations, bringing the total potential donation to $150,000 by the Foundation and company employees.

Sempra Energy Foundation will direct the funds through the American Red Cross National Relief Fund.

RATEPAYER ADVOCATES GROUP FINDS SDG&E REQUEST WOULD GOUGE RATEPAYERS TO PROFIT SHAREHOLDERS

 

DRA Says SDG&E’s cost of capital request is out of line with today’s market and unfair to customers

August 7, 2012 (San Francisco) – The Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), the independent consumer advocate within the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), on Monday presented evidence in the CPUC’s proceeding on Cost of Capital. DRA found that San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s (SDG&E) request for an 11.0% Return on Equity far exceeds both the company’s revenue needs and market standards.

 

DRA recommends that the appropriate Return on Equity (“ROE,” or the revenue that shareholders can expect to earn on their investment) should be 8.5%, which would result in a $50 million annual savings to SDG&E’s customers. [See Cost of Capital Comparison Chart]

SDG&E CELEBRATES OPENING OF SUBSTATION NEAR ALPINE AND COMPLETION OF SUNRISE POWERLINK

Outside, protesters object to Powerlink and more power projects planned for region

By Miriam Raftery

July 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – “That snap, crackle and pop is the sound of success,’ SDG&E president and chief financial officer Michael Niggli declared, referring to the noises emanating from high voltage lines at the newly completed Suncrest Substation.

 Atop a former mountaintop blasted away for the project’s construction, Governor Jerry Brown  and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined with energy industry executives to celebrate what they view as a milestone in meeting the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

 

 
June 14, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include: 
 
 
 
 
LOCAL
  • Carlton Oaks land agreement will connect Mission Trails to River Trail (Santee Patch)
  • Victim in fatal Alpine crash was to graduate from UCSD (UT San Diego)
  • La Mesa Spring Valley School District faces negative bond rating (San Diego Reader)
  • Giant SDG&E line sparks rural activism (UT San Diego)
  • A closer look at executive pay at Sempra, Qualcomm and other companies (UT  San Diego)
  • The local newspaper makes national news- NYT criticizes UT San Diego for using newspaper as pulpit for business interests (Voice of San Diego)
 
STATE
  • ‘Third strike’ and GMO foods labeling initiatives qualify ballot (Sacramento Bee)
  • Sacramento leaders eye pension changes, sales tax (Sacramento Bee)
  • Election officials: get used to uncounted ballots (Sacramento Bee)
  • California likely to need to cut spending more (Reuters)
  • California Highway Patrol Officers  union agrees to monthly furlough (Sacramento Bee)  
 
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

 

CROSS-BORDER POWERLINES APPROVED

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
June 10, 2012 (San Diego) – The San Diego Planning Commission on Friday approved the Energia Sierra Juarez Gen-Tie project, a power line that Sempra Energy plans to utilize to bring energy from a planned Mexico wind facility across the border to the U.S. That facility’s future is in limbo, however, since a Mexican court has agreed to hear a lawsuit challenging Energia Sierra Juarez. 

UTILITY WATCHDOG GROUP UCAN TO SHUT DOWN AMID FEDERAL PROBE: EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS EXPRESS SHOCK, DISMAY

"As bad as SDG&E is with a watchdog, imagine it without a watchdog.” – Donna Tisdale

 

“…No evidence confirming such allegations was provided by those lodging allegations, nor discovered by any of the professionals retained by UCAN’s board.” – press release posted on UCAN website

"We're trying to save UCAN and they're dissolving it." -- Mike Aguirre, attorney

March 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – To many ratepayers in East County, the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN) has been a valued ally in their battles against San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). For example, UCAN filed a lawsuit that tried to halt Sunrise Powerlink and submitted a study that helped persuade the California Public Utilities Commission to reject a rate hike proposal.   

So UCAN’s announcement that it is dissolving amid an FBI investigation into its finances  and a Grand Jury summons has been met with shock, dismay and skepticism here in East County.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SDG&E’S LATEST ATTEMPT TO EXPLOIT ITS MONOPOLY STATUS & CORPORATE POWER

 

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH 
“If we had free market competition, SDG&E would have to absorb the costs of the fire. Quite simply, if
they raised their rates, consumers would switch to other providers.”
 

February 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- Sempra-owned utility San Diego Gas & Electric wants “San Diego-area utility customers to pay for nearly all of an estimated $463 million in cost not covered by insurance from the catastrophic 2007 wildfires that were triggered in large part by its power lines,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. “At stake is who ultimately pays for the fire’s destruction — ratepayers or shareholders.” SDG&E wants the ratepayers to cover 95 to 100 percent of excess wildfire and related litigation costs.

RURAL EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS OUTRAGED OVER POWER OUTAGES DURING RED FLAG ALERT WITH WILDFIRE CLOSE BY

“SDG&E exemplifies the hypocritical worst of the One Percent: higher profits, higher rates and disregard for lives.” – Kim Hamilton, Deerhorn Valley Antler editor

By Miriam Raftery

 

November 3, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Rural East County residents are voicing concerns over a power-shut down yesterday while a 600-acre wildfire in Mexico threatened to jump the border. The night before, some residents received a warning from SDG&E that the utility intended to shut off power due to a red flag alert signaling severe fire danger.

FORTUNE NAMES SEMPRA ENERGY’S DEBRA L. REED TO 2011 LIST OF ’50 MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS’

 

 

 

 

 

October1, 2011 (Sa Diego) – Debra L. Reed, who was elected chief executive officer and a director of Sempra Energy in June, has been named to Fortune magazine’s 2011 list of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” published online today. 
This year marks the first time Reed has been recognized on this prestigious annual list, which was launched in 1998 to honor successful women in business.

 

SDG&E WANTS TO RAISE YOUR RATES: CPUC SETS 4 HEARINGS OCT.10-13 IN SAN DIEGO & EAST COUNTY

 

“SDG&E has asked ratepayers to overpay for service, including funding long-term stock options and incentive programs in excess of what is reasonable,” Joe Como, acting director, Division of Ratepayer Advocates at the California Public Utilities Commission

 

 

September 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Consumers opening their bills in a month that saw the worst power outage in California history got another unpleasant surprise: a notice that San Diego Gas & Electric Company seeks a rate increase of $1.5 billion over the next four years.

The California Utilities Commission has scheduled several meetings in San Diego County on the proposed rate hike between October 10 and 13, including two hearings Oct. 12 in East County (El Cajon). Public Participation Hearings will be held at 2.p.m. and 7 p.m. at each of the following locations:

LEGISLATURE VOTES TO OPPOSE TRANS BORDER POWER LINE NEAR JACUMBA TO SAVE JOBS

 

By Billie Jo Jannen

 

September 11, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- A resolution introduced by District 40 State Senator Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) and passed in both houses Friday seeks to put the brakes on a high voltage trans-border power line slated to bring electricity in from the proposed 1250 MW La Rumorosa wind turbine project near Jacumba.

 

SDG&E ISSUES $350 MILLION IN BONDS JOINTLY LED BY MINORITY-OWNED INVESTMENT BANK

 

 

Aug. 18, 2011 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), has closed a public offering of $350 million of 10-year first-mortgage bonds. This transaction marks the second time SDG&E has used a minority-owned investment bank as co-lead in a bond offering. 

STUDY FINDS SEMPRA CROSS-BORDER TRANSMISSION PROJECT COULD COST 15,000 U.S. JOBS & $300 MILLION IN LOST TAXES; SEMPRA CALLS STUDY “BIASED”

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Sempra Energy has asked the U.S. Department of Energy for a presidential permit to construct a cross-border transmission line called Energia Sierra Juarez to import electricity from Sempra facilities in Mexico. The line would cross the border near Jacumba in San Diego’s East County.
 

SDG&E RENEGES ON PROMISE TO CAMOUFLAGE TOWERS IN LAKESIDE SCENIC VIEW CORRIDOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 23, 2011 (Lakeside) – Back in February 2009, SDG&E officials met with a packed hall full of residents in Lakeside, including the town’s planning board. Residents were furious that SDG&E had changed its proposed route to march 40-story high voltage towers through El Monte Valley, a County-designated scenic view corridor.

After numerous residents objected to desecration of views, SDG&E representative Laura McDonald promised that towers would be “camouflaged” by painting them tan or green. This reporter was present and can vouch for that pledge made. Don Parent and at least two other SDG&E representatives were also present.

But now SDG&E has reneged on its promise to the people of Lakeside—and its representatives have apparently developed convenient cases of amnesia.

SDG&E AIR CRANE CALLED IN TO HELP FIGHT EAGLE FIRE

 

July 2, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The Erickson Air Crane, a heavy-left helicopter contracted by SDG&E for construction work on Sunrise Powerlink, was called early this afternoon to help battle the Eagle Fire. The massive chopper can carry up to 30,000 gallons of water or fire retardant chemicals.

 

The Eagle Fire has scorched 2,500 acres and remains just 5% contained as of 5 p.m. this evening. It is currently burning about 14 miles east of Santa Ysabel near Warner Springs on tribal lands as well as state park property.

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