SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— PG&E has asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to allow it to raise natural gas rates by $1 billion over three years, but The Utility Reform Network (TURN)— a ratepayer’s advocacy group is trying to prevent them from doing so.

TURN has requested to see emails between the utility and the CPUC that they say will show behind- the-scenes deal making, regarding the rate-hike request. An administrative law judge’s hearing on Monday was held to see if and how the rate hikes would move forward.

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TURN’s attorneys argue that any rate hike should at least be put on hold until the ongoing investigation between the utility and its regulator is complete. The emails are specifically between PG&E and CPUC commissioners.

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“PG&E has failed to turn over all of the emails between the commission and PG&E that really may impact this case and in fact impact the commission’s ability to make an impartial decision,” said TURN Communications Director Mindy Spatt.

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CPUC’s board President Michael Peevey has already recused himself of any vote on the ratepayer increase after emails revealed that his chief of staff discussed with PG&E executives secret-deal making; including what judge would be assigned to this case.