The attempts by Southern California Edison to keep the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station open have opened a lot of eyes, as SCE has invested a lot of time, effort and money into building a political powerhouse in Orange County and throughout California, in the areas where they are the electric utility.
How pervasive is SCE’s influence? Consider these memberships and investments in local organizations:
- Orange County Taxpayers Association – Both SCE and Sempra are listed as “Sponsors” of the Orange County Taxpayers Association. SCE, Sempra and SDG&E have employees on the board of directors of the OC Taxpayers Association.
- Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce – SCE is a part of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce 2013-14 Chairman’s Circle as a Corporate Level sponsor of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce .
- Cypress College – In 2011 Southern California Edison company donated $2,538
- Chapman University – In 2011 Southern California Edison company donated $3,490
- Southeast Community Development Corporation – In 2011 Southern California Edison company donated $5,750
- California Small Business Association – In 2011 Southern California Edison company donated $20,000
- Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – Both Southern California Edison and SDGE / Sempra Energy are listed as “SPONSORS” of the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Also Chairman of the Board at Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is Eddie Marquez who works directly for SCE as their “Regional Public Affairs Manager”
- Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – In 2011 Southern California Edison company donated $68,875. SCE is listed as one of the sponsors in 2013 and would be required to pay $10,000 or $25,000 to be called a sponsor.
- Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce – Both SCE and Sempra / SDG&E are members
There is no telling how much money SCE is spending on political operatives throughout California and especially in Sacramento.
And you better hold on to your wallets. “Utilities owned by PG&E Corp. (PCG), Sempra Energy (SRE) and Edison International (EIX) would be required to procure 1,325 megawatts of storage capacity by 2020 under a June 10 proposal from the California Public Utilities Commission,” according to Bloomberg. Experts believe that 1,325 megawatts of storage may require about $1 billion to $3 billion in investment.
We already pay the highest electricity rates in the nation. And SCE wants to raise our rates even more. But hang on – are they spending our money wisely?
In 2009 and 2010, Edison’s actual costs ended up being $502.4 million less than it had predicted, the DRA wrote in a brief filed with state regulators. From that, Edison paid 593 executives, managers and other employees compensation that totaled $139.53 million. A big chunk of that, $24.36 million, went to executives alone, it said, according to Turn, the Utility Reform Network.
Part of Edison’s requested rate hike, says nonprofit consumer advocate TURN, will be used to pay:
- $26 million for executive bonuses,
- $1 billion for software over five years,
- $11 million for creating images of buildings and infrastructure,
- and $7 million for plug-in electric vehicle infrastructure.
The increases that SCE wants state regulators to approve would take its revenue from $5.4 billion a year to about $6.3 billion for 2012, $6.9 billion for 2013, and $7.4 billion for 2014. And you know they will try to stick us with the bill to close down SONGS too!
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