April 24, 2018 |Professor Shelley Ross Saxer is quoted in the recent Bloomberg article, “Edison, PG&E Seek Mercy From Courts Over Doomsday Fire Payouts.” The article considers the situation of privately owned utility companies, such as Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, that have to receive permission from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) prior to raising utility rates. Last year, the CPUC denied a request by Sempra Energy to raise rates in order to cover settlements resulting from Southern California wildfires in 2007.
Excerpts from “Edison, PG&E Seek Mercy From Courts Over Doomsday Fire Payouts”:
Edison and PG&E may have a good argument that the CPUC’s decision has limited their ability to spread their costs, said Shelley Saxer, a law professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
“But the PUC decision in this one instance doesn’t mean that they have foreclosed recovery of damages in other cases,” Saxer said.
Given the billions of dollars in damages at stake now, it’s likely that the California Supreme Court will have to resolve whether inverse condemnation can be applied to privately owned utilities, according to Saxer.
The complete article may be found here