For demanding that Southern California Edison place their predictably faulty utilities underground, it is sheer effrontery to learn that SCE, our unreliable electrical power supplier, dares to sue the City of Laguna Beach.
Since our residency here in 1984, we’ve kept silent on the recurring power outages that afflict our community, particularly our hilltop communities, which seem to be affected more frequently than other areas. However, both brief and extended power outages—in just this year alone—of Jan. 17, 20 and 22 prompted us to write letters of complaint to both SCE and the Public Utilities Commission.
In their reply to us, SCE admitted that “a review and field investigation of your area found evidence of multiple outages affecting your neighborhood from 2015 to 2017. Our records indicate most of the outages were weather related due to tree debris falling into the SCE service lines.” SCE further states, “rainstorms caused damage to SCE’s overhead equipment that has since been repaired. Overhead service is more susceptible to inclement weather because of its direct exposure to the elements such as wind and salt water.” In other words, blame God for SCE’s repeated, ongoing incompetence.
In view of this admission by SCE of its culpability in these frequent power outages, one would think they would take proactive measures to underground their susceptible utilities to protect them from the God of wind and salt water they blame. But, no. Instead, SCE sues the city so they can continue to provide unreliable what we laughingly call “electrical service.”
Furthermore, the Consumer Affairs Branch (CAB) of the PUC—the apologist for SCE—replied to our complaint as follows: “CAB does not find Southern California Edison Company in violation of the rules or regulations of the Public Utilities Commission. Therefore, we sustain the position of Southern California Edison Company.”
Some areas of Laguna, such as Mystic Hills and Arch Beach Heights, had the foresight to put their utilities underground from the start of development. Little good it did. When a rainstorm approaches, SCE’s above ground infrastructure downhill fails predictably, and we suffer power outages nonetheless.
Thus, we hope that the city of Laguna Beach will reply to this lawsuit with a countersuit, perhaps even a class action lawsuit on behalf of the many negatively impacted citizens, some of whom may have been harmed, to force SCE to finally underground its electrical infrastructure within this city. We have been inconvenienced for too long. Doing nothing is not an option; the next rainstorm or windstorm will yield a predictable result: yet more extended power outages in our city.
Ted Mowery, Laguna Beach