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Suit Against California’s Public Utilities Commisioners To Be Heard In San Diego

A Superior Court Judge will consider a suit that claims community stakeholders are being excluded from a private meeting with five Public Utilities Commissioners in San Diego.

Attorney Maria Severson, who filed the suit on behalf of public advocates, said the commissioners plan to meet with elected officials in La Jolla the day before their publicly noticed meeting in San Diego.

"The PUC is essentially acting like a bouncer at a night club where it is picking and choosing who gets to go into the club,” Severson said. "It is disinviting and preventing people whose message it apparently does not want to hear from coming in the doors.”

The CPUC said the meeting is one of a series being held around the state, which are always followed by a publicly noticed meeting open to everyone. The meeting will be organized so no more than two of the commissioners meet with invited stakeholders at any one time, but stakeholders circulate so all commissioners have an opportunity to meet all those invited.

Among the issues to be discussed at the public meeting is a controversial vote to build two so-called "peaker” power plants in San Diego, Quail Brush and Pio Pico.

The agenda of the publicly noticed meeting on March 21 does not include the question of whether rate payers should continue to pay for the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which has been off line since January 2012.

A CPUC hearing on that question is promised in San Diego at a later date.

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