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Letters: Paying for San Onofre

June 11, 2013
  • Southern California Edison built San Onofre's two nuclear reactors in about nine years, but tearing them down will be a technically complex, multibillion-dollar job completed over decades.
Southern California Edison built San Onofre's two nuclear reactors… (Los Angeles Times )

Re "Edison should pay for its own mistakes at San Onofre," Column, June 8

As Michael Hiltzik says, the financial debacle perpetrated by Southern California Edison should not fall on ratepayers' shoulders. It is understandable that "acts of God" are not the fault of a utility, but the mess with the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is man-made, the result of gross incompetence.

Who should pay for this? Edison shareholders? The contractors who botched the job? Or Edison management, which failed to provide proper oversight? Those executives certainly deserve a massive pay cut or to lose their jobs.

Customers of a de facto monopoly are helpless. They cannot choose to switch electricity providers. Their only defense is provided by government — in this case, the California Public Utilities Commission, whose chairman is a former chief executive of Edison. The fox is guarding the chicken coop.

Bert Bigelow


Companies don't pay for their mistakes. They pass all costs on to their customers — or they go out of business. Ratepayers are going to pay for San Onofre.

Edison shareholders include not only the hobgoblins of Wall Street but anyone with a 401(k), IRA, pension and the like — in other words, you and I.

Those who worked to shut down San Onofre are not friends of the Earth but of fossil fuel producers. France gets more than 75% of its electricity from nuclear generators; it bases its efforts to clean up the environment on science rather than emotion.

Chris Daly


I believe Edison should have been given the chance to show it could safely operate San Onofre at 70% power.

In the 1990s, during the shady manipulations of the energy markets, Edison could have given up and left Southern California in the lurch. It didn't. During earthquakes and regional power outages, Edison kept San Onofre online.

I want wind, solar and water-based power as much as the next person, but until those sources are plentiful enough, we need a facility like San Onofre, even at 70% power. Coal- and gas-fired generation will make up for what we'll lose with San Onofre going offline.

Richard Green

San Clemente


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