News Release – For Immediate Release
For More Information Contact: Carl Weimer, Executive Director (360) 543-5686 or (360) 223-2636 (cell)
Statement of the Pipeline Safety Trust on the
California Public Utilities Commission’s announced fine on PG&E
The Pipeline Safety Trust applauds the California Public Utilities Commission’s decision to fine PG&E $1.6 billion dollars. While no amount of money can make the people of San Bruno whole, the magnitude of the fine sends a clear message to PG&E that their previous negligent pipeline safety programs, and clear priority of placing profits above safety, will no longer be tolerated. We hope this marks a clear turning point for both PG&E and the CPUC.
We hope today’s $1.6 billion fine also sends a strong message to all the other pipeline companies across the nation that they also need to make sure they know the condition of the pipes they have in the ground, diligently assess the risks those pipelines pose, and spend the money needed to ensure the safety of the communities where they operate. PG&E was held responsible today for the tragedy they created, but clearly they are not the only pipeline company that has mismanaged the integrity assessments and maintenance of their pipelines.
While today’s fine sent a strong message, the CPUC failed to take the opportunity to level the playing field between the industry and the public. We are disappointed that the CPUC did not address the City of San Bruno’s request for some of this money to go for the creation of a California Pipeline Safety Trust to give citizens and local governments a well funded, independent voice to help increase accountability for the safe operations of pipelines through enhanced public participation, transparency, and independent oversight of both the pipeline industry and regulators in California.