San Bruno Pipeline Explosion
California Regulator Asks If PG&E Is ‘Too Big’ To Operate Safely Before Voting On $1.6 Billion Penalty
Pacific Gas & Electric Co., California’s largest power utility, is too large and has too much money to be held accountable. That’s expected to be the message Thursday as the state’s top utility regulator prepares to vote on a penalty for the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion.
The San Francisco suburb hit by a deadly gas-line blast in 2010 is supporting a proposed tougher penalty for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
California regulators have approved a nearly $2.4 billion rate hike for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers that will see the typical customer’s monthly bill increase by $7.50 starting in the fall.
Four years after a pipeline explosion tore through San Bruno’s Crestmoor neighborhood, the area is still rebuilding. Residents said they are fatigued by the construction.
Officials at Pacific Gas & Electric say customers will not be paying the massive fines being sought by state regulators in the deadly 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno, but that PG&E’s shareholders will bear that cost.
PG&E is reporting higher earnings this last quarter than the same time last year despite penalties from the San Bruno pipeline explosion.
Peninsula Congresswoman Jackie Speier described a brittle brand of plastic pipe used in PG&E distribution lines as a ticking time bomb, but acknowledges the company has committed to replacing the hazardous material.
The California Public Utilities Commission could soon be under more pressure to address pipeline safety issues in the wake of a number of natural gas explosions. A new bill introduced by Assemblymen Paul Fong and Jerry Hill would require mandatory implementation of NTSB safety recommendations.
Family and friends were among those who gathered at Skyline College Friday to commemorate those who passed away in the PG&E pipeline explosion in San Bruno one year ago.
Findings in the draft final report, which were publicly discussed for the first time Tuesday by the five-member board, indicate that flawed pipe, operations and oversight led to the disaster.