SAN MATEO, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) issued the following statement on the city of San Carlos’ declaration of a state of emergency and its demand that PG&E shut down natural gas transmission line 147:

“Yesterday, the City of San Carlos was informed of a November 2012 email by a PG&E engineer expressing concern that line 147 could be “a San Bruno situation.” I support the city’s demand that Line 147 be turned off. There are four reasons to do so. First, the utility’s engineer expressed concern that there may be older pipe in line 147 that was induced to crack as a result of the hydrostatic test conducted on the line in 2011. This alone should necessitate that the line be turned off.  Second, line 147 leaked in one location and it is still not completely understood why it leaked, although a patch at that location may be reason. Third, the nature of the pipe’s construction at yet another point – and perhaps as many as three points- is not yet fully understood by PG&E. Finally, the utility withheld from city staff until yesterday the November 2012 email expressing concerns about the integrity of the pipeline. These are four good reasons for the city to demand that the pipeline be turned off until we know that it is safe to operate or that repairs, if needed, have been made. I call upon the CPUC to investigate the history of this pipeline’s testing and operation in order to determine the proper course of action on this line. For now, however, the proper course of action is to shut off the gas.”