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L.A. needs its DWP ratepayer advocate to speak up

L.A. needs its DWP ratepayer advocate to speak up

In 2011, when Angelenos were considering a ballot measure to create a "ratepayer advocate" to monitor the Department of Water and Power, the Times editorial board endorsed the idea, with a caveat. We said the advocate should be a well-regarded professional with deep expertise in utility operations, not a populist bomb thrower solely interested in blocking rate increases. And that's exactly what Los Angeles got in Fred Pickel — for better and worse.

Pickel, a longtime energy industry consultant who in 2012 became the first ratepayer advocate, has made the Office of Public Accountability a methodical, behind-the-scenes force pushing...

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