During the May 24th Irvine City Council meeting, Councilmember Larry Agran used his 3-minute time allocation during the “Announcements” portion of the meeting to publicly state his concerns regarding the lack of transparency at the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA).
Last month, all businesses operating in the City of Irvine were automatically transferred from their previous provider of electricity — Southern California Edison (SCE) — and enrolled in OCPA, at a higher rate. In October, all Irvine households will be transferred to OCPA, with a similar rate hike.
In his remarks, Agran announced that in April the OCPA was fined $1.96 million by the California Public Utilities Commission.
The nearly $2 million fine penalizes OCPA for failing to purchase enough electricity to ensure that its customers are provided with uninterrupted service this summer and beyond.
Since taking office, Agran has repeatedly requested that a full report be provided at a public City Council meeting regarding the status of OCPA. Due to Mayor Farrah Khan’s unpopular “Rule of Two” — requiring support from a second Councilmember — Agran’s requests have not made it onto any Council meeting agenda, which is why Agran said he has been forced to voice his concerns publicly during the Announcements portion of each Council meeting.
Irvine City Councilmember Mike Carroll is the Chair of the six-member OCPA board and Mayor Farrah Khan is also a member. However, Carroll and Khan refuse to allow a public discussion of the OCPA finances — even though the City of Irvine is funding the OCPA through the end of this year.
At the May 10th Council meeting, Agran pointed out that, according to its own website, the Power Authority is projected to lose $42 million in its first two years.
At the May 24th City Council meeting, Agran once again asked his Council colleagues: “Where is the oversight? Where is the transparency? Where is Irvine taxpayer money going? We need answers right now because our City’s future, both economic and environmental, is at stake.”
To read the Top 10 questions our readers have asked (and our staff has answered) regarding OCPA, click here.