The head of the California Public Utilities Commission, Michael Peevey, has announced that he will step down once his term comes to an end in December.
As the scandal of inappropriate emails between high-ranking CPUC officials and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. executives continues to grow, more and more people have called for Peevey to be fired.
The latest batch of emails to be released even details how Peevey hosted PG&E executives at his vacation home in Sonoma in 2010, where they talked shop over “two bottles of good pinot.”
In recent weeks, in the wake of the email scandal, CPUC employees have called for Peevey to resign, with one staff member calling him “something like an untouchable mob boss.”
It got so bad that the San Jose Mercury News even came out with an editorial last June that straight up dismissed the agency as a “disaster,” writing, “The degree of incompetence is so high, it’s hard to find anything the PUC does well under President Michael Peevey’s leadership.”
California Sen. Jerry Hill even planned to move forward legislation to block Peevey from reappointment if Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him for yet another term.
San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane has called on California Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate the illegal emails between CPUC officials and PG&E executives.
“Twelve years as president is enough,” Peevey said in a statement.
Meanwhile, waaay back in 2011, we at the Bay Guardian noticed a trend: Peevey was regularly going on fancy international getaways in the company of PG&E executives. We published an in-depth investigative cover story about it, titled The Secret Life of Michael Peevey: California’s Top Energy Regulator Rolls With Power Company Executives Behind the Scenes.
At that time, we wrote:
As PG&E and the CPUC both work to win back the public’s confidence after their latest deadly failure, it’s worth analyzing whether their relationship — shaped by vacations together at exotic locales — has grown too cozy.