SAN MATEO – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) issued the following statement at a press conference with San Bruno officials in response to the release of California Public Utility Commission emails related to the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion that killed 8 people and destroyed 38 homes:

“These emails indicate that justice is not blind at the California Public Utilities Commission: It’s AWOL. I haven’t had an opportunity to review the emails but if the press reports are true, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, then you can’t make this into a good news story for California’s consumers. CPUC staffers and President Peevey offered PG&E guidance on how to respond to San Bruno’s requests or to bad news in the headlines,” Congresswoman Speier said. “Likely, as the full record is examined, other examples of lack of professional conduct will emerge, and perhaps even violations of the law on communications during a regulatory proceeding. Regulators are supposed to regulate, not cheerlead.

“No one learning of these back-and-forth comments by regulators and PG&E could come to any conclusion other than the obvious: A safety culture may be the objective of the CPUC, but a culture of cozy accommodation remains the norm. These two cultures are incompatible. As I have said before, PG&E has made a lot of progress since the explosion, and the system is likely safer now than in the past,” Congresswoman Speier said. “But a strong regulator and a regulator that keeps its professional distance are what are needed to guarantee that PG&E stays on track and that Californians get the gas system that they were promised, and deserve. If Mike Peevey wants to be a consultant to PG&E then he should resign. I agree with the city that he should be removed from negotiating the settlement and penalty because he obviously has a bias.”

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Congresswoman Jackie Speier is proud to represent California’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. She is a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC). In her role on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Congresswoman is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements and serves on the Subcommittee on National Security. She serves on the Readiness Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on HASC and is a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Congresswoman Speier was appointed to serve as a Senior Whip for the Democratic caucus in the 113th Congress.