State regulators Aug. 15 denied the petitions of Marin Energy Authority, other choice aggregators and direct access providers requesting a rulemaking to address unfair utility cost shifting complaints. \u201cI have not been persuaded that the alleged extensive cost shifting in fact occurred,\u201d said Mike Peevey, California Public Utilities Commission president. He added the commission \u201cremains committed to level the playing field\u201d between utility and non-utility providers, but not in the manner sought. Peevey\u2019s decision denying the requested rulemaking garnered a 5-0 vote. He and his fellow commissioners agreed to keep tabs on future departing load charges for those served by non-investor-owned utilities, including the applied methodology for determining those costs. That includes the impact on Marin Energy and other energy service providers\u2014direct access customers, or community aggregators, such as, Shell Energy, Wal-Mart, the City and County of Santa Cruz, and South San Joaquin Irrigation District. The other regulators did not dismiss the claims of unfair cost shifting. But, they too disagreed with the proposed avenue for addressing it. Commissioner Catherine Sandoval said the petition supported by 40 different organizations and entities \u201craises important issues,\u201d but it\u2019s \u201cmore appropriate to evaluate these issues in the context of rate making proceedings.\u201d Commissioner Mark Ferron pointed out the group\u2019s petition \u201chighlights the lack of transparency\u201d of the utilities\u2019 bypass charges, including ongoing stranded costs for nuclear facilities dating back to deregulation in the late 1990s. Asking utilities for more information would increase the \u201ctransparency and fairness of our process,\u201d he said. Future cost shifting claims, including \u201cboth the mechanics and overall fairness of cost allocation and departing load charge methodologies\u201d remain on the commission\u2019s table, according to the decision. \u201cIn addition, we continue to be open to re-evaluating specific departing load charges in appropriate proceedings if changed circumstances warrant doing so, and indeed some related issues are currently under review in other proceedings,\u201d it states.