Don Bauder

Don Bauder is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

Comments by dbauder

Utilities commission was cozy with utility

GRAND JURY INDICTS PG&E FOR OBSTRUCTION, LYING ABOUT SAN BRUNO. A federal grand jury yesterday (July 29) criminally indicted Pacific Gas & Electric on 28 charges, including an allegation that the utility lied when it denied it had an official policy of ignoring federal law requiring requiring pipeline inspections. This is the latest news in the San Bruno explosion of 2010, which killed eight, injured 66, and destroyed 38 homes. According to the publication SFGate.com, the indictment increases the financial penalty the company could face. PG&E could be nailed for fines of $1.3 billion on top of $2.5 billion that might be assessed by the California Public Utilities Commission. San Bruno is suing the commission for, among many things, its many unreported ex parte meetings with Michael Peevey, president of the commission. This new unsealed indictment supersedes and strengthens an indictment that the same grand jury issued last April. The earlier indictment only cited a dozen violations and a fine of $6 million. Now the company is indicted on 27 counts of violating the Pipeline Safety Act and one for lying to National Transportation Safety Board investigators. The new criminal charges "demonstrate a pattern of deceit by PG&E," say San Bruno officials. The utility made a "willful decision to divert pipeline safety funds and use them for executive compensation and shareholder returns for many decades," say the San Bruno officials.
— July 30, 2014 12:45 p.m.

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