CPUC Bans Video of San Onofre Hearings

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Action Alert

CPUC Blocks Video Coverage of San Onofre Hearings
What do they want to hide from the public?

Next week, May 13-17, 2013, The California Public Utilities Commission, located in San Francisco, California, is holding evidentiary hearings in the investigation of Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas and Electric associated with the San Onofre nuclear generating station units 2 and 3 in Southern California. SCE is pushing to restart San Onofre unit 2 without fixing the steam generator problems that made an emergency shut down necessary in January of 2012.

This proceeding represents a microcosm of the issues surrounding the rickety, unsafe conditions of the U.S. fleet of 104 aging reactors. It is of vital interest not only to California residents, but to people across the country and around the world who would be affected by a release of radiation from San Onofre, located in a tsunami zone amid multiple earthquake faults.

Womens Energy Matters (WEM) and Ecological Options Network (EON) believe video taping this important hearing should be allowed and that the entire proceeding should be webcast/video-streamed on the internet by the CPUC to ensure maximum public awareness of the issues involved. This is particularly necessary because this important hearing vitally impacts the 8.5 million plus people in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas who live 450 miles from where the hearings are taking place making their attendance extremely difficult.

At least two webcasts of evidentiary hearings have established webcasting precedent at the CPUC – the General Rate Case and the Sunrise Powerlink proceeding. California’s Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act provides for such public videotaping.

EON in collaboration with WEM, who is a party to the proceedings, issued a courtesy notice to Commissioner Florio and the Adjudicatory Law Judges Dudney and Darling regarding the intention to videotape. WEM has filed a motion to that effect.
[See attached PDF ].

As of Fri. May 10, the motion has been denied by Administrative Law Judges Melanie Darling and Kevin Dudney. In their ruling, the ALJs assert that the hearing being open to the public and being transcribed provides sufficient transparency. (However, it is necessary to make special requests for transcriptions which cost $2 per page and take 2 – 4 weeks for delivery. CDs can be ordered for $20.) The ALJ’s claim of sufficient transparency from unwieldy and expensive transcripts casts a pall of non-transparency over the whole proceedings.

Please express your outrage at this ruling to the following:

ALJ Melanie Darling – md2@cpuc.ca.gov, ALJ Kevin Dudney – kevin.dudney@cpuc.ca.gov, Commissioner Michel Florio – mf1@cpuc.ca.gov

Dear Commissioner Florio, ALJ Darling and ALJ Dudney:

I support WEM’s Motion for the Commission to provide a webcast of the May 13-17, 2013 hearings in the San Onofre investigation (I1210013), and to allow videotaping, pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act. I urge you to reverse your denial of this motion.

Thank you,

[your name & city]