California Cases on Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

The Public Utilities Commission of the State of California is charged with ensuring that public utilities "furnish and maintain such adequate, efficient, just, and reasonable service, instrumentalities, equipment, and facilities ... as are necessary to promote the safety, health, comfort, and convenience of its patrons, employees, and the public." (Public Utilities Code 451.) Thus, no electrical corporation may begin construction or extension of lines "without having first obtained from the commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require such construction." (Public Utilities Code 1001.) In granting the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) pursuant to Public Utilities Code section 1001, the Commission "shall give consideration to the following factors: "(1) Community values. "(2) Recreational and park areas. "(3) Historical and aesthetic values. "(4) Influence on environment ... ." ( 1002.) In addition, when considering an application for an electric transmission facility, "the commission shall consider cost-effective alternatives to transmission facilities that meet the need for an efficient, reliable, and affordable supply of electricity, including, but not limited to, demand-side alternatives such as targeted energy efficiency, ultraclean distributed generation, as defined in Section 353.2, and other demand reduction resources." ( 1002.3.) The electric corporation's application for a CPCN "shall include ... ... (d) a cost analysis comparing the project with any feasible alternative sources of power. The corporation shall demonstrate the financial impact of the plant, line, or extension construction on the corporation's ratepayers, stockholders, and on the cost of the corporation's borrowed capital." ( 1003.) A party seeking judicial review of a Commission's decision must first file an application for rehearing. ( 1756, subd. (a).) "The application for a rehearing shall set forth specifically the ground or grounds on which the applicant considers the decision or order to be unlawful. No corporation or person shall in any court urge or rely on any ground not so set forth in the application." ( 1732.) In other words, the petitioner may not raise in court a matter not included in its application for rehearing. (See, e.g., Southern Cal. Edison Co. v. Public Utilities Com. (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 1086, 1101, fn. 7 102 Cal. Rptr. 2d 684.) Section 1757 governs our examination of cases properly before this court on petition for writ of review. ( 1757, subd. (a); see Southern Cal. Edison Co. v. Public Utilities Com. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1, 9 26 Cal. Rptr. 3d 700.) "Review by the court shall not extend further than to determine, on the basis of the entire record ... whether any of the following occurred: "(1) The commission acted without, or in excess of, its powers or jurisdiction. "(2) The commission has not proceeded in the manner required by law. "(3) The decision of the commission is not supported by the findings. "(4) The findings in the decision of the commission are not supported by substantial evidence in light of the whole record. "(5) The order or decision of the commission was procured by fraud or was an abuse of discretion. "(6) The order or decision of the commission violates any right of the petitioner under the Constitution of the United States or the California Constitution." ( 1757, subd. (a).) The parties are required to support their points with argument, any case authority, and record citations. (Cal. Rules of Court, rules 8.4, 8.204(a)(1)(B) & (C).) If a party fails to support a claim of error with argument, or support an argument with the necessary citations to the record, we may deem the argument waived. (In re Marriage of Falcone & Fyke (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 814, 830; Nwosu v. Uba (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 1229, 1246.)