Politics

PUC To Decide If PG&E Customers Should Pay For Pipe Upgrade

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JEFFREY%20SCHAUB Jeffrey Schaub
Jeffrey Schaub is a Bay Area broadcast news veteran. From 1990 to 201...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to make a decision about whether PG&E customers will have to cover the cost for pipe upgrades, possibly as soon as this week.

State Assemblyman Jerry Hill and The Utility Reform Network (TURN), a consumer advocate group, said Monday the proposal was a bad idea.

Hill had previously criticized PG&E’s request that state regulators allow the utility to charge ratepayers more than $2 billion for major upgrades to its natural gas transmission system.

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

The assemblyman’s district includes San Bruno, where a pipeline explosion killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes in 2010. Hill said if the state PUC grants PG&E’s request, it would be a travesty.

“The ratepayers have already paid for the pipes that are underground because it was not properly maintained and tested. Now we’re expected to pick up 95 percent of that cost,” Hill stated.

The utility company claimed through a spokeswoman that it’s only responding to new safety rules imposed by the state.

Under the PG&E proposal, the average customer would pay an extra $2 a month. But Hill is also claiming the utility is charging ratepayers to pay for lobbying in Sacramento.

Hill has authored a bill to prevent utilities such as PG&E from using ratepayer money to give executives financial bonuses when they find ways to cut their budgets.

PG&E did not have any comments regarding the anti-lobbying legislation.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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