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Appeals Court Orders State Regulators To Submit Key San Onofre Emails For Possible Public Release

Power lines make their way over a freeway toward the San Onofre nuclear power plant, June 7, 2013.
Associated Press
Power lines make their way over a freeway toward the San Onofre nuclear power plant, June 7, 2013.

The mystery of why customers are being charged billions of dollars for the failed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station might be solved soon.

The 1st District Court of Appeal plans to review relevant emails between state regulators and Governor Jerry Brown’s office to decide if they should be made public.

The appeals court has ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to submit the emails for its study within three weeks.


That court has also asked the commission for a list of the emails, the sender and receiver, as well as the reason why each should be exempted from public disclosure.

“The CPUC received and will comply with the Court’s order,” said commission spokeswoman Terrie Prosper.

The order is in response to a brief filed by San Diego consumer lawyer Mike Aguirre. For nearly three years, he has repeatedly requested that the commission release the communications but it has refused on grounds that the public interest in viewing the emails is trumped by the public’s interest in “allowing such decisions to be made uninhibited by public scrutiny.”

Aguirre believes the communications contain key answers to how a deal to bill ratepayers $3.3 billion dollars to shut down San Onofre was reached.

They also argue the emails might show what role Governor Brown played in the process.


RELATED: Email Suggests Brown Took Edison’s Side On San Onofre; Governor Denies It

Specifically, Aguirre wants to know what Brown knew about a secret 2013 meeting in Poland where the terms of the San Onofre pact were hatched by a state regulator and a Southern California Edison executive.