PG&E Responds to CPUC Staff's $300M Penalty Recommendation
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (NYSE: PG&E) released the following statement from Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Tom Bottorff in response to the California Public Utilities Commission staff's revised penalty recommendation for the San Bruno accident, PG&E's operation of its gas transmission pipeline system in or near locations of higher population density, and recordkeeping investigations:
"In its zeal to punish PG&E, the staff of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has lost sight of our important shared goal of making PG&E's natural gas operation the safest in the country as quickly as we possibly can.
"The newly revised penalty recommendation takes $300 million away from safety improvements and sends that money to the Legislature for general fund spending. In addition, staff's failure to account for total PG&E shareholder costs would force PG&E shareholders to spend $4 billion – about 40 times higher than the highest penalty ever assessed for a pipeline accident in the history of the U.S. The CPUC's own consultants acknowledged the financial risks of such a large penalty.
"It is difficult to understand how the CPUC expects PG&E to attract the capital necessary to maintain the extraordinary investment in safety currently underway, or raise billions of dollars more for