Otay Mesa Gets New Partial Hearing

By Published On: July 8, 2005

Finding that its record doesn’t contain evidence that the Otay Mesa power plant under contract to San Diego Gas & Electric is beneficial to the utility?s ratepayers and should be considered “reasonable,” the California Public Utilities Commission decided on June 30 to reconsider the case to determine reasonableness. The 510 MW project, built by Calpine, was approved on a split vote a year ago (<i>Circuit</i>, June 11, 2004). The commission, however, refused to rehear other parts of the case. Despite ratepayer advocacy groups’ request for CPUC president Mike Peevey’s recusal on the issue, the commissioners found that his participation did not violate due process. Protesters “failed to demonstrate that he had an unalterably closed mind with regard to the outcome,” according to the decision. The CPUC also said it will reexamine its confidentiality practices. Hearings will tackle the question of where to draw the line between inviting public participation with open decision making and preventing market manipulation—feared if some information were to be revealed. Comments are due in early August.

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