Saturday, June 7 will mark the one-year anniversary of Southern California Edison’s (SCE) decision to permanently shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

SONGS generated 2,150 megawatts of power for our region each year and many of us had hoped there was a safe solution and timely regulatory approval to allow SONGS to restart.  When that did not happen, San Onofre’s owners, SCE and San Diego Gas & Electric, started talking with interested consumer groups about how to reach a settlement agreement for the costs associated with shutting down the plant.

The settlement that has been reached balances the request of consumer advocate groups with the return on investment rules that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) must follow. The California Large Energy Consumers Association, which represents industrial customers, said of the settlement, “The conceptual approach, allowing recovery of replacement power costs but not the failed steam turbine generators, appropriately balances ratepayer and shareholder interests.”

There are many other voices in support of the settlement, from various community-based organizations to other consumer groups, but there are also voices in opposition, including the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility and the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents numerous businesses that get their power from SCE and we think it is time to approve the settlement proposal and move on to the important topic of making sure we all have the electricity we need in the future.  The CPUC’s age-old “cost recovery” rules matter. If these rules are ignored and overturned in the case of SONGS, we will undermine the certainty that utilities and investors across California need when building new power generating sources and updating our aging grid.

SCE acted responsibly. They found a leak in one unit and shut it down. To be fully diligent, they kept the other unit dormant as well. There was hope to find a timely solution and when seeing none, SCE made the hard choice. Not a single person was hurt, but many good people lost their jobs when the generating station closed.

Prudent action has prevailed in reaching this settlement. Now it’s time to close this chapter in our energy history.