Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) issued the following statement today in response to a report to the California Public Utilities Commission by an Independent Review Panel on the September 9, 2011 PG&E gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno:

“If this is somehow possible, PG&E is more at fault today than it was yesterday based on the findings of this panel of experts. The most riveting aspect of the findings concern the failure of PG&E to conduct construction inspections of segment 180 in 2008 before and after a sewer replacement project that required Segment 180 to be uncovered.  Furthermore, PG&E failed to have a supervisor present during the sewer project located by the segment of pipe that eventually ruptured. If PG&E had done its job, the assumption is that it would have witnessed the patchwork construction on its pipeline and that, in turn, would have triggered an immediate inspection, if not, repair. Instead, eight people died.

“The report is correct in suggesting that both the CPUC and PG&E need to reorganize themselves with a focus on greater adherence to safety. “