PUC Launches PG&E Probe As Agency Fails To Comply With Search Warrant

by Ivan Penn, Los Angeles Times

One percenters enjoy fine wine.


The California Public Utilities Commission has launched an investigation of the state’s largest utility at the same time that the agency has failed to deliver documents for an investigation into its own operations.

The PUC is investigating whether the culture at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. contributes to accidents such as the 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in the Bay Area city of San Bruno.

Commissioners are reviewing PG&E’s structure, policies, practices and governance to see if the utility puts enough emphasis on safety. In April, the commission fined the utility a record $1.6 billion over the pipeline explosion.

California utility regulators are poised to hit Pacific Gas & Electric Co. with a record-high, $1.6 billion penalty for negligence leading to the 2010 deadly natural gas explosion in San Bruno.

“A public utility’s track record of safely operating its system is dependent on more than messages and slogans,” PUC President Michael Picker said in a news release. “An effective safety culture is shaped by the governance, policies, budget, practices, and most of all, the accountability set by the top leadership.”

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