SAN BRUNO TO FILE RESPONSE AUG. 1 ON CPUC LEGAL FILING

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the City of San Bruno, California, and received via
electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
16 July 2013
For Immediate Release: 
San Bruno Commends Improved CPUC Recommendation to Punish PG&E
City still demands even tougher remedies--will file response
Aug. 1 
San Francisco--The City of San Bruno today commended the latest
legal filing by the California Public Utilities Commission’s
safety division and called the improved penalty and fine
proposal of $2.25 billion against Pacific Gas & Electric Company
“a step in the right direction” to punish the utility for its
gross negligence that caused the Sept. 9, 2010 San Bruno
explosion and fire. 
San Bruno officials have long demanded that PG&E pay the maximum
for the tragic explosion and fire that took eight lives,
destroyed 38 homes, and damaged scores more.  The City today
said it will continue its push for additional remedies,
including lifesaving fully automated safety shutoff valves and
an independent safety monitor to serve as a watch dog for the
completion of required system safety improvements. 
San Bruno is also asking that the CPUC mandate that PG&E fund a
Pipeline Safety Trust in California, an independent group that
would advocate for pipeline safety and would serve as a legacy
to the tragic explosion.  San Bruno has until Aug. 1 to file its
formal response to the CPUC. 
“The latest penalty proposal is a long-awaited step in the right
direction for public safety, and we commend the attorneys within
the CPUC’s safety division for exhibiting the courage to
significantly strengthen the division’s previous, and
inadequate, penalty recommendation,” said San Bruno Mayor Jim
Ruane. “While we wholeheartedly support the tougher penalty and
fine, the City of San Bruno will continue to fight for
additional and ongoing safeguards to protect the public and help
us ensure that what happened in San Bruno never happens again,
anywhere.” 
The City cautioned that it just received the CPUC safety
division filing this morning and needs to review it thoroughly
before fully commenting on the revised proposal. 
The CPUC’s revised $2.25 billion penalty and fine proposal
replaces the CPUC’s original -- and now discredited --
recommendation announced with much hype by Jack Hagan, director
of the CPUC’s safety division, in May but which was soon
revealed to be 100 percent tax-deductible and littered with
credits and perks to benefit PG&E, amounting in a net penalty of
almost nothing for the utility. 
Not one of the CPUC safety division’s senior attorneys agreed to
sign the original penalty recommendation, calling it “unlawful”
and “contrary to what our team had worked to accomplish in the
last two and a half years.” Those attorneys were reassigned off
the investigation as a result of their protest. 
The shocking internal turmoil at the CPUC led San Bruno to call
for an investigation by the California Attorney General and the
State Legislature and, ultimately, forced the recusal of the
CPUC’s chief counsel and the lead attorney on the case, Frank
Lindh, a former PG&E attorney. 
The formerly reassigned attorneys returned to the investigation
and last week they requested to withdraw the old filing and
“correct certain inaccuracies,” characterizing the events as
“unorthodox.” 
The amended filing not only imposes a tough penalty of about
$2.25 billion that will fund ongoing safety improvements but it
also incorporates an additional $300 million fine to PG&E
shareholders, which is not tax deductible and would be diverted
into the State of California’s general fund. In addition, the
proposal also curtails PG&E’s ability to deduct “credits” for
safety repairs made since the 2010 explosion and fire - a
provision San Bruno has advocated strongly for in the past. 
And while city officials say they generally support the monetary
component of the CPUC’s revised proposal, given the widespread
dysfunction at the CPUC, they will continue to push for PG&E to
adopt and fund a series of remedial measures to ensure systemic
regulatory change in the future. These include funding for a
California Pipeline Safety Trust advocacy organization, an
Independent Monitor to make sure PG&E follows its own safety
plan in the face of possible lax enforcement, and the
installation of lifesaving fully Automatic Shutoff Valves. 
“While we continue to applaud those CPUC attorneys who displayed
exceptional courage in their effort to uphold justice for the
people and victims of San Bruno, we believe the level of chaos
and disarray at the CPUC is proof that additional, going-forward
remedies are needed, specifically an Independent Monitor to
oversee the CPUC’s activities and correct the overly cozy
relationship with the CPUC” Ruane said. “We will continue to
fight for additional safeguards so that, as the legacy of the
City’s involvement in this process, we can feel confident that
the state’s regulatory and public utility systems are changed
for the better.” 
Contact: Connie Jackson, City Manager
Phone: (650) 616-7056
Email: cjackson@sanbruno.ca.gov 
Sam Singer, Singer Associates
Office: (415) 227-9700
Email: singer@singersf.com 
(kgt)NY 
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