This week, two events affecting Pacific Gas & Electric, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and CPUC president Michael Peevey, have ignited a firestorm of justifiable indignation.
First, the City of San Bruno managed to get emails between Peevey and PG&E executives that pertained to the 2010 pipeline explosion. Those emails clearly showed Peevey's egregious pro-utility bias.
In an editorial, the San Jose Mercury News said, "We knew the president of the CPUC placed his cozy relationship with the utility above any responsibility to the public…. The state Attorney General and federal Department of Justice should immediately open an investigation into the connection between Peevey and the utility...the public trust, already worn thin, is in tatters…. And if Gov. Jerry Brown persists in backing his outrageously unethical appointee, he might as well change the name to the Pro Utility Commission."
Said the San Francisco Chronicle in an editorial, "Gov. Jerry Brown had ample cause to remove Michael Peevey as president of the California Public Utilities Commission even before the disclosure of emails that underscored the coziness between the state regulators and Pacific Gas & Electric."
Also this week, a federal grand jury indictment superseding one last April charged PG&E with obstructing justice. There were 27 charges of violating the federal Pipeline Safety Act and one charge of allegedly lying to National Transportation Safety Board investigators after the blast. This indictment raised the possible fine the utility may have to pay to $3.8 billion.