California’s PG&E Hit With Record $1.6 Billion FineApril 9, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) – “All of us at PG&E have committed ourselves to a goal of transforming this company into the safest and most reliable energy provider in America.”
That was the official statement from California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation (PG&E) as state utility regulators levied a record $1.6-billion fine against the California’s largest utility company.
The fine is for violating state and federal pipeline safety standards and prompted by the 2010 explosion of a PG&E natural gas transmission line in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno.
The penalty is over 10 times the amount of the prior record fine of $146 million against Southern Califor
nia Edison Co.
Tony Earley, chairman and CEO of PG&E Corporation since 2011 said in a press release, “The company is focused on becoming the safest and most reliable energy provider in America, motivated by the tragic lessons of the 2010 explosion of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s natural gas transmission pipeline in San Bruno.”
He added, “Since the 2010 explosion of our natural gas transmission pipeline in San Bruno, we have worked hard to do the right thing for the victims, their families and the community of San Bruno. We are deeply sorry for this tragic event and we have dedicated ourselves to re-earning the trust of our customers and the communities we serve. The lessons of this tragic event will not be forgotten… We’ve hired some of the best experts in the country to help guide this effort and we’ve supported it with billions of dollars in shareholder-funded investments in gas safety.”
Earley continued, “While we obviously need to review the orders in their entirety before making a final decision, we do not expect to appeal today’s rulings. I want to be very clear — our focus is on moving forward to complete the important safety work we set out to do. We’ve made tremendous progress but we have more to do and we are committed to doing it right.”
In addition to the 1.6 billion dollar fine, the company has settled claims amounting to more than $500 million with the victims and families of the San Bruno accident, established a $50 million trust for the City of San Bruno for costs related to recovery and contributed $70 million to support the city’s and community’s recovery efforts.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation(NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States.
Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California.