January 9, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo Counties) released the following statement today on the results of U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA’s) audit of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the agency responsible for ensuring California utility companies operate their natural-gas pipelines safely:

PHMSA’s audit shows that the CPUC has the same problem as PG&E: bad record-keeping. Their two-year backlog and inadequate documentation of investigations makes the CPUC among the worst in the nation, and this audit doesn’t even address their ethical problems. In the four years since San Bruno’s tragic pipeline explosion, CPUC should have worked to get their oversight of public utilities back on track. Unfortunately, they have failed.

“Because of their poor behavior, CPUC may lose some of its federal funding. But the $1.9 million they get each year from the federal government is minuscule compared to CPUC’s $1.4 billion budget. PHMSA needs a larger carrot or much bigger stick to get CPUC in line, and I hope to address this issue in the new Congress. We can’t keep waiting for the next disaster.”