The Alliance for Nuclear responsibility announced Jan. 17 that John Geesman, a major player in California energy policy, has signed on to represent the nuclear ratepayer advocacy group as it takes Pacific Gas & Electric to task before state regulators.
Geesman, better known in the Bay Area, is perhaps best known locally as the former California Energy Commission executive director who waged an online public awareness campaign against PG&E’s failed 2010 ballot initiative that would have required a two-thirds popular vote before public agencies could set up municipal utility services.
The initiative, which PG&E spent more than $46 million of ratepayer money to promote, was defeated by a margin of 5.6 percent. Opponents to the measure spent less than $100,000.
Geesman will represent the Alliance proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission over PG&E’s request for $64 million in ratepayer funding so the company can conduct seismic studies around the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. According to an Alliance press release, the interveners have raised questions not only about that cost—up from the utility’s original proposal of $17 million—but also the scope of the studies.
“The fact that the CPUC staff could rubber-stamp Southern California Edison’s proposed studies for the San Onofre nuclear plant without review by any seismic experts shows what we’re up against,” Geesman said in a prepared statement.
Geesman is also a former chair of the California Power Exchange.
CPUC hearings for PG&E’s funding are scheduled for February 2012.