PG&E continues to take heat

PG%26E+workers+work+on+a+pipline+in+San+Bruno.+%28Matt+Pacelli%29
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PG&E continues to take heat

PG&E workers work on a pipline in San Bruno. (Matt Pacelli)

PG&E workers work on a pipline in San Bruno. (Matt Pacelli)

PG&E workers work on a pipline in San Bruno. (Matt Pacelli)

PG&E workers work on a pipline in San Bruno. (Matt Pacelli)

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After Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was charged with $1.4 billion in penalties by the California Public Utilities Commission, the company made a motion for an appeal. The team of state regulatory judges that exacted the fines ruled that the fines were due to PG&E; committing more than 3,800 federal and safety violations leading up to the 2010 San Bruno explosion.

Previously, PG&E.; was accused of lying to federal investigators looking into the deadly pipeline fire in the Crestmoor neighborhood.

The CPUC demanded that PG&E; shareholders pay $635 million towards its pipeline modernization program, which resulted in $2.7 billion being spent on safety measures. In reaction to the Sept. 4 ruling, the CPUC’s judges declared that $950 million of the $1.4 million penalty would be comprised of penalties to the state’s general fund.

PG&E; customers are also expecting refunds, which amount to $400 million due to the company’s failure to spend the contributions in pipeline safety, in addition to another $50 million to pay for auditors who will supervise PG&E;’s headway.

Previously, the lift of the stay caused controversy. The decision to stall this lawsuit was contentious, given the public’s concern for the outcome and the fact that it is in PG&E;’s best interest to have the lawsuit settled to avoid any further liability.

Steve Campora, lead attorney for the families, stated that he had no further comments.