CPUC Publishes 65,000 Emails Between Regulators and PG&E

(eguidry via flikr) (eguidry via flikr)

By Alex Emslie
KQED News

Get your reading glasses ready.

The California Public Utilities Commission just published some 65,000 emails between Pacific Gas and Electric Company executives and state regulators.

An administrative law judge ruled earlier this month that the utility must release by today the communications to the CPUC and the city of San Bruno, the site of a September 2010 gas transmission line explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

The company said the emails covering almost five years, from 2010 through September 2014, were examined as part of an internal review. Inappropriate communications have already been reported to the CPUC, according to a written statement from the utility company.

“While we will make no excuses about unethical conduct, it is critical for the public to know that, as a regulated entity serving the needs of 16 million Californians, it is entirely appropriate for us, as well as other groups, to communicate with our regulators on an ongoing basis,” PG&E’s statement says in part. “The vast majority of the 65,000 communications have been completely appropriate, but in those few instances when they were not, we took immediate and definitive action.”

The utility said three officers were fired over inappropriate ex parte communications with regulators, among other structural changes to regulatory compliance at PG&E.

Former CPUC President Michael Peevey announced he wouldn’t seek another term during the fallout from previously released back-channel communications. His home was searched by state investigators this week.

Peevey’s replacement, Michael Picker, told KQED in late December that he is not concerned about PG&E’s perceived “cozy” relationship with its regulator, and that the CPUC is too focused on the Bay Area.

He struck a less aloof tone after he took office, promising to work for a more transparent and safety-conscious culture at the CPUC.

Here’s a link to the CPUC’s hosting of the documents again. Each email is a separate .pdf file, and at this point, they are not searchable in bulk.

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