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Bill Proposed To Ensure PG&E Blast Fine Is Spent On Pipeline Upgrades

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Year In Review: 2010 Top News Stories

Flames erupt from an exploded gas pipeline in San Bruno’s Crestmoor neighborhood, September 9, 2010. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN BRUNO (KCBS)— A Bay Area legislator has said he doesn’t want fines PG&E will pay to California for the San Bruno pipeline fire and explosion to be swallowed up by the state’s general fund. Instead, Assemblymember Jerry Hill wants the money to go toward the upgrade of the utility’s system.

On Tuesday from the steps of the State Public Utilities Commission, Hill said he wants to offset the costs for ratepayers for the reconstruction of PG&E’s gas transmission system.

Hill stated under current law the money would go to the general fund, but that his law is necessary.

“This doesn’t make sense. As PG&E ratepayers we expect and deserve for the penalty money to be used to improve the deficient pipeline system in our neighborhoods,” he explained.

KCBS’ Jeffery Schaub Reports:

Hill said his legislation could save rate payers $600 million. He explained this by saying that the utility would spend up to $14 billion to meet new federal safety guidelines. Much of that money would be borrowed. Ratepayers by law would pay interest on that money plus the upgrade work itself. Hill said the money from fines would offset those costs.

PG&E said they support Hill’s bill and that they’ve already begun doing plenty of work towards upgrades and plan to continue their work.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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