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PG&E Ordered to Turn Over CPUC-Related Emails

A California regulatory judge on Tuesday ordered Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) to turn over all of its email by Jan. 30 between former executives and state regulators, subject to some limitations.

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Amy Yip-Kikugawa at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) granted in part a motion by the city of San Bruno (see Daily GPIDec. 19, 2014).

The city has argued that PG&E has only self-reported 24 of the requested emails, part of an ongoing internal investigation that has already cost three executives their jobs (see Daily GPISept. 16, 2014).

The judge ruled that PG&E can submit all of the emails with confidential information redacted to relevant officials, including at the CPUC and San Bruno.

In noting that she recognized some of the emails include confidential information, Yip-Kikugawa said PG&E "shall provide all emails," and "for those emails containing confidential information, PG&E shall redact only the confidential information, retaining the content of the communication." She urged the utility to "err on the side of greater disclosure" and redact the minimum.

San Bruno also asked for the CPUC to create a "special discovery master" to manage the regulatory commission's email review. Yip-Kikugawa denied that request, noting there is no need for the position to determine which emails will be disclosed.

PG&E is opposing the ALJ decision, arguing that its email database includes some not relevant to the proceeding. PG&E last month had said it intended to release emails to state regulators (see Daily GPIDec. 23, 2014).

Late last year, PG&E CEO Tony Earley acknowledged that some of the emails made public at that point "suggest clear violations" of CPUC ex parte rules and behavior that failed to meet the utility's expectations. 

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