COSTA MESA ( — Utilities customers are voicing their concerns over a proposed settlement that would stick ratepayers with part of a $3 billion tab over the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Customers of Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric are angry they’ve been asked to share the multibillion-dollar tab with the utility companies after the shutdown of the faulty nuclear generating station last June.

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KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reports about 100 activists showed up to a public hearing Monday in Costa Mesa, many asking for the Public Utilities Commission to conduct a full investigation and protect them against charges they say they should not incur.

“This is taxation without representation. And it is the worst that you’ll ever find,” activist Ray Lutz said.

The utilities initially wanted over $4 billion from ratepayers but eventually reduced the sum. Still, unsatisfied customers told Public Utilities Commissioner Michel Florio at the hearing they’re opposed to paying for the costs tied to defective steam generators at the plant.

“We are here to stop the ratepayers from being billed for the mistakes that these negligent engineers made,” activist Ace Hoffman said.

Florio was still weighing the effects of a possible fallout from ongoing negotiations.

“Do we take the deal and resolve it all, or do we dig deeper and possibly not like what we find?” Florio asked.

But Lutz, founder of Citizens’ Oversight Projects, argued it’s clear the current settlement proposal is a ripoff.

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“Go after your insurance and go after Mitsubishi and litigate with those guys and get them to pay you,” he said in a message to the utilities.

Butler reports administrative law judges are expected to draft a proposed decision at the end of August.

It will be up to the Public Utilities Commission to decide if its will reject or approve that settlement in September.


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