SAN MATEO, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) issued the following statement in response to an audit released by the California State Utilities Commission today:
“It is truly unconscionable that PG&E was allowed by the CPUC to steal ratepayer monies that should have been spent on safety and, instead, was put in the pockets of PG&E shareholders. All these monies identified in the audit should be returned to ratepayers, presumably as a credit against the work that PG&E should have done, but didn’t.
“The audit also shows the inaptitude of the CPUC when it comes to overseeing the utility. They are supposed to have the ratepayers’ back. Simply put, for the past 20 years the regulator should have done its job and not relied on PG&E to self-report its actions.
“On May 16, 2011 I released CPUC documents that confirmed that PG&E put profits over safety when it failed to spend $183 million (1985 to 1997) in CPUC-approved funding for pipeline replacement in the San Bruno area. Last August the NTSB clearly showed that the San Bruno explosion was caused by PG&E’s operational failure at every level of management. Today’s audit is yet more damming proof about how deaths, injuries and property damage might have been avoided if PG&E had followed through on its initial plan to replace all of Line 132 in San Bruno, or if it had tested Segment 180—the section that ruptured—after it was installed in 1956.”