Southern California Edison

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Southern California Edison (SCE) is a subsidiary of Edison International. SCE services "central, coastal and Southern California, excluding the City of Los Angeles and certain other cities."[1]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Southern California Edison has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)[2]. See ALEC Corporations for more.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

Power Stations

SCE power stations, as of July 2008, are[3]

California deregulation

Southern California Edison (SCE) owns all of its electrical transmission facilities and equipment, but the 1996 deregulation of California's electricity market required that the company to sell many of its power plants, though some were probably sold by choice. In California, SCE retained only its hydroelectric plants, totaling about 1,200 MW, and its 75% share of the 2,150-MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The utility sold all of its natural gas-fired plants, which provided most of its electrical generation. The large, aging plants were bought by out-of-state companies such as Mirant and Reliant Energy, which were later accused of using them to manipulate the California energy market.[4]

A 2003 investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) substantially agreed in 2003:[5]

" imbalance, flawed market design and inconsistent rules made possible significant market manipulation as delineated in final investigation report. Without underlying market dysfunction, attempts to manipulate the market would not be successful."
"...many trading strategies employed by Enron and other companies violated the anti-gaming provisions..."
"Electricity prices in California’s spot markets were affected by economic withholding and inflated price bidding, in violation of tariff anti-gaming provisions."

Others noted that "middleman" utility distributors like SCE continued to be regulated and had to charge fixed prices, and had limited choice in terms of electricity providers, while unregulated wholesale producers charged more for energy, driven in part by manipulation from energy traders like Enron.[6]

SCE still owned about half of the 1,580-MW coal-fired Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nevada, which supplied electricity to California, Nevada, and Arizona. On June 11, 2009, Southern California Edison announced that the plant was being permanently decommissioned by 2010.[7]

California PUC denies request to pass on costs of pet coke study to customers

In February 2009, the California Public Utilities Commission ruled that Southern California Edison will not be able to pass on to its customers the estimated $30 million in costs to join a clean energy study. Hydrogen Energy, the joint venture of BP and Rio Tinto, will study whether petroleum coke, an oil refinery by-product, can be converted to a clean, low-carbon fuel for power plants. SCE had proposed to charge higher electricity rates to cover the costs of the study. The CPUC suggested that SCE could be compensated after the study, and urged other California utility companies to participate in the project.

BP and Rio Tinto are seeking to build a 390 MW power plant at the oilfields in Kern County, north of Los Angeles, that would generate electricity by burning hydrogen made from petroleum coke. The carbon dioxide created in the process would be injected into Occidental Petroleum oilfields to increase oil production, which the companies say would cut 2 million tons of CO2 emissions per year.[8]

Four Corners Plant

Southern California Edison to Divest from Four Corners

On March 30, 2010, Southern California Edison (SCE) informed Arizona Public Service (APS) of the company's intentions to divest its 48 percent stake of Four Corners Steam Plant by 2016. According to APS, Southern California Edison announced it did not plan to sell its shares on the open market. SCE, which supplies power to greater Southern California, does not believe that Four Corners' coal burning is the energy wave of the future. Other issues that may have prompted SCE to divest its interests include proposed legislative initiatives to regulate carbon from power plants, Best Available Retrofit Technology requirements for the plant by fall 2010, and the possible regulation of coal fly ash as a hazardous waste.[9]

APS to purchase SCE share and close Four Corners Steam Plant Units 1, 2, and 3

On November 8, 2010, Arizona Public Service announced that it had entered into an agreement to purchase Southern California Edison's share of Four Corners Steam Plant Units 4 and 5, which it plans to retrofit with additional emission controls. The company will close Units 1, 2, and 3. There will be no layoffs at the plant, which employs 549 workers, 74 percent of whom are Navajo.[10] Closing the three units will reduce the capacity of Four Corners by 633 megawatts (nameplate capacity) or 560 megawatts (net summer capacity). Units 1 and 2 were built in 1963, and Unit 3 was built in 1964.

Articles and Resources


  1. Edison International, "Edison International", Edison International website, accessed July 2008.
  2. Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information of the American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
  3. "Southern California Edison", Edison International website, accessed July 2008.
  4. "Energy Crisis Overview: How we got here", The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2008-08-17. 
  5. FERC Summary of findings (PDF). Retrieved on 2008-08-17.
  6. "Energy Crisis Overview: How we got here", The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2008-08-17. 
  7. California Edison closes Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin ... for good, Kingman Daily Miner, June 11, 2009.
  8. "Calif. Electric Co. Denied On Clean Power Study," Reuters, February 23, 2009.
  9. "SCE divesting of Four Corners; APS looks to buy share" Kathy Helms, Gallup Independent, March 30, 2010.
  10. "APS Announces Landmark Accord for Four Corners Power Plant," APS press release, November 8, 2010

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