Tag Archives: CPUC

Prosecutor Begins PG&E Trial With Blistering Opening Statement

by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

PG&E pipeline ignites an explosion in San Bruno 9/10/2010.

After the September 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes, PG&E “made a deliberate choice to not follow these … safety regulations,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Hallie Hoffman, the lead prosecutor, said in her opening statement in a packed federal courtroom. Read More ›

AB 2395: AT&T Wants To Disconnect Millions Of California Landlines

Woman on corded phone at home

According to the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, about 16.5 million traditional copper land lines remain in service in California. AT&T’s bill would create a pathway for phone companies to abandon residential land lines in 2020, even in areas where an adequate alternative phone option does not exist. While many consumers now have cell phones or IP phones as well as land lines, about 2.3 million Californians live in a home that only has a landline. AB 2395 will eliminate both customer choice and the current requirements for Carriers of Last Resort that ensure all Californians have access to reliable essential phone services. Read More ›

State Regulators Reopen Case On San Onofre Nuclear Plant

by Ivan Penn, Los Angeles Times

San Onofre nuclear plant

The ruling follows a $16.7-million fine in December [against Southern California Edison] … imposed because of Edison’s failure to report back-channel communication between Edison representatives and commission representatives. … The closure led to a settlement agreement approved by the utilities commission. Under the deal, the plant’s owners — Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. — would pay $1.4 billion in reactor closing costs; their customers were left on the hook for an additional $3.3 billion. Read More ›

Garcetti Pushes Fingerprint-Based Background Checks For Uber And Lyft Drivers

by Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times

Last year, The Times reported that four Uber drivers ticketed by [Los Angeles] airport police had criminal histories that would have barred them from becoming city taxi drivers. Last year, the top prosecutors for Los Angeles and San Francisco identified 25 Uber drivers with convictions for murder, assault, driving under the influence and other offenses. That information emerged as part of a lawsuit filed by the cities that alleges Uber misled consumers over background checks. Read More ›

Judge Asked To Fine PG&E $112 Million For Carmel Blast

by Jaxon Van Derbeken, San Francisco Chronicle

CPUC shield

“PG&E should be reminded that the commission and its staff are not operating on a ‘need-to-know’ basis with PG&E,” [Ed Moldavsky, an attorney for CPUC’s safety division,] wrote in his recommendation. … “PG&E has a duty to disclose even troubling facts to the commission,” Moldavsky wrote. “PG&E’s failure to do so makes a mockery out of the regulatory compact.” … “How many times does the corporate mule need to be hit over the head with a 2-by-4 to get its attention?” [Carmel] city attorneys asked. … “Yet here we are again. The facts are clear, and the law is clear.” Read More ›

State Legislators Call For Drastic Overhaul Of California’s Utility Regulator

by Melanie Mason and Jeff McDonald, Los Angeles Times

CPUC shield

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) said his measure would decentralize the California Public Utilities Commission’s oversight of myriad utilities, including electricity, railroad safety and ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. … Gatto, chairman of the Assembly’s utilities committee, would give the Legislature two years to divvy up the functions of the commission among other agencies, which Gatto said would result in a more logical assignment of responsibilities. Read More ›

PG&E Can’t Find Original Records For South Bay Gas Lines

by Jaxon Van Derbeken, San Francisco Chronicle

CPUC shield

The Public Utilities Commission inquiry is focused on PG&E’s distribution pipes, which snake through neighborhoods, delivering gas to homes and businesses. They are smaller than transmission pipelines such as the one that exploded in San Bruno in 2010, killing eight people. That disaster happened when a flawed pipeline weld — which did not show up on PG&E records and had never been tested — ruptured. … Utilities commission staffers are pressing for a large fine against PG&E for the Carmel blast, saying the company did little about the issues raised by its missing De Anza records until after the explosion. Read More ›

California Solar Owners Face New Fees, Utilities Say Costs Should Be Higher

by Ivan Penn, Los Angeles Times

Rooftop solar panels

[The CPUC] narrowly passed new rules that will increase costs for owners of rooftop solar systems, part of a broad reshaping of the state’s energy future. … New solar customers would face a one-time charge to tie into the grid. The commission estimates the fee would range from $75 to $150 per solar customer. In addition, rooftop solar customers would pay a fee estimated at 2 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity used from the utility companies, no matter how much power their solar systems generate. Read More ›

Order Could Lead To Release Of E-Mails Between Brown’s Office, CPUC

by Jaxon Van Derbeken, San Francisco Chronicle

San Onofre nuclear plant

The state Public Utilities Commission must justify its refusal to release e-mails that could reveal a behind-the-scenes role for Gov. Jerry Brown in a multibillion-dollar deal with two utilities that shut down a Southern California nuclear power plant, a San Francisco judge ruled Monday. … A lawyer challenging the $3.3 billion charge to the utilities’ customers is seeking the e-mails as potential evidence of intervention in the shutdown negotiations by the governor’s office and top commission officials. The state attorney general’s office is also seeking the e-mails as part of its corruption probe of the agency. Read More ›

SB 215 Sustains Drive For CPUC Reforms Originally Sought In SB 660

1/27/2015 Update: The Senate approved SB 215 (Leno) in a 37-0 vote yesterday (with no votes recorded for Senators Bates, Liu and Wolk). The bill awaits committee action in the Assembly. SB 215 incorporates CPUC reforms CFC had sought in SB 660 (Leno), which had passed unanimously in both the Assembly … Read More ›

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