Friday
October
31
2014
5:30 pm
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

PG&E plans to appeal $1.4B penalty in deadly blast
September 03, 2014, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. plans to appeal a $1.4 billion penalty recommended by California regulatory judges for a gas pipeline explosion in a San Francisco suburb that killed eight people, the utility said in a filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The utility said it plans to appeal to the California Public Utilities Commission within 30 days. The filing did not list a reason for the appeal, but PG&E spokesman Greg Snapper said the utility wants the commission to take into consideration the $2.7 billion PG&E has or will spend on gas pipeline safety improvements.

"We're planning to ask the commission to review yesterday's recommendation to make sure that a final penalty counts all of the company's safety investments and actions to make the gas system the best in the country," Snapper said.

He said any penalty should also directly go toward public safety. By far the largest share of the $1.4 billion penalty recommended by two administrative law judges Tuesday would go directly to the state with no strings attached.

The $950 million portion marked for the state's general fund also drew objections from a private advocacy group for ratepayers and the city of San Bruno, the San Francisco suburb where the fiery 2010 explosion destroyed more than three dozen homes and became the state's deadliest utility disaster in decades.

Those funds can be spent any way the governor and Legislature see fit, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance.

The penalty — the largest safety-related levy ever against a public utility in the state — also includes $400 million for pipeline improvements and about $50 million to enhance pipeline safety. PG&E cannot recover any of the money from customers.

Any appeal would first go to the administrative law judges who recommended the penalty before going to the state utilities commission for consideration.

The blast occurred when a 30-inch natural-gas transmission line installed in 1956 ruptured.

A 2011 investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded the break occurred in a weak weld in a pipeline that PG&E records had shown as being smooth and unwelded. Among other safety failings, PG&E let an hour and 35 minutes go by before shutting off the natural gas fueling the fire, the federal investigators said.

The utilities commission previously ordered PG&E to pay $635 million for pipeline modernization — money that also cannot come from PG&E customers.

This year, federal prosecutors separately indicted PG&E on 27 counts alleging the utility violated pipeline safety requirements.

PG&E faces additional fines of more than $1 billion if convicted of the federal charges, which are separate from the state financial penalties. PG&E has pleaded not guilty to the counts.

 

 

Tags: safety, pipeline, state, utility, commission, penalty,


Other stories from today:

Negotiators meet over mass Pakistan rallies
Putin's peace plan: Ukraine withdraws from east
PG&E plans to appeal $1.4B penalty in deadly blast
 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
Now that the Giants have won three World Series titles in five years, would you say they are a dynasty?

Absolutely, yes
I would think so
Maybe one more would make them a dynasty
I don't like the word dynasty
Madison Bumgarner is a dynasty!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Virgin Galactic says space tourism rocket lost
MOJAVE, Calif. — Virgin Galactic reported that its SpaceShipTwo space tourism rocket has been lost..
Judge rejects Ebola quarantine for nurse
FORT KENT, Maine — Kaci Hickox can travel unrestricted after a Maine judge rejected the state's bi..
Wall Street caps wild month with stock rally
NEW YORK — The U.S. stock market is capping a seesaw month by jumping to all-time highs just two w..
Burkina Faso army general takes power
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — An army general took power in Burkina Faso Friday after President Blai..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County courts