SAN MATEO, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), today issued the following statement on PG&E’s filing with the CPUC that the estimated cost to upgrade its natural gas pipeline system will be close to $5 billion and its assertion that customers should pick up 84 percent of the total costs:
“PG&E is clear about having its shareholders pay for the cost of past mistakes, a price tag that the utility says will approach $1 billion. I believe the crucial issue here is defining “past mistakes.” There is no debate that shoddy recordkeeping was a major error on PG&E’s part. I would also contend that PG&E did not engage in the correct inspection methodology to detect flawed welds from defective and dangerous workmanship—its focus was, instead, on corrosion. The shareholders need to foot the bill to bring us complete assurance that all previously untested transmission lines are structurally sound. If pipelines have to be repaired or replaced, then shareholders would again pay for this work. It is the CPUC’s job to identify mistake-driven work and the results of the commission’s scrutiny could swing more costs in PGE&’s direction."