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San Francisco -TURN said: “It is time for the CPUC to hold P G & E accountable.”

on April 24, 2012

DGME 101 – NEWSWRITING ASSIGNMENT – FINAL DRAFT

PG & E PROPOSAL CUSTOMERS PAYS FOR MOST $2.2 BILLION PIPELINE

San Francisco – TURN said: “It is time for the CPUC to hold P G & E accountable.”

 A Turn.org article said, “San Francisco – The Utility Reform Network (TURN) demanded today as of March 13, that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) instruct PG & E to cover all related costs to the San Bruno pipeline without raising rates.”

In a letter to CPUC, TURN said, “The cost of the investigation itself should also be covered by PG & E, not its customers.”   The investigation itself cost $ 103 million and revealed that the company’s leak detection system was deficient, with falsified records, inadequately trained personnel and other problems.

TURN does not know the cause of the explosion in San Bruno, but they tracked the way PG & E handled the revenues generated through the years, as PG & E is trying to charge customers for most of the $2.2 billion pipeline.

TURN tracked through the Company’s Executive Bonuses which in 2003 were in the range of $ 34.8 million and in 2009 $ 62.5 million and have a total of $ 198.1 million since 2003 through 2009.  TURN said, “PG & E has in recent years taken advantage of its discretion over spending to award executives millions in bonuses and perks.”

Customers might wonder, if the $ 198.1 million dollars was worth awarding to the executive group who neglected their role and perhaps should be responsible for the costs, as for the death of the people in San Bruno.

In the First Anniversary ceremony of the San Bruno explosion held at Skyline College, Joe Ruigomez, one of the victims who also lose his love said, “The one who was, is and always will be ‘Jessica’.”  The few words exchanged with The Skyline View on that beautiful ceremony brought back his loving, but painful memories of the disaster as he also mentioned his many sufferings that he was going through very briefly.

Almost six months after at Skyline College Learning Center, Star I said*, “I don’t think that’s fair,” and Star II* said, “Why should they punish people for a mistake that they had made – ridiculous.”

Online.wsj.com said: “In January, the CPUC fined PG & E $16.8 million for not conducting pipeline-leak studies, which officials said violated state and federal laws.  They both failed to do their jobs.  Certainly PG & E and CPUC are guilty for the suffering of the San Bruno people and the loss of a treasure love of Ruigomez who is not only missing his half-love-heart perished at the disaster, but in his scarred-face due to their negligence.

Why is this happening now? Why didn’t anyone know about the system deficiency or the falsified records?  How the penalties prevent another accident by increasing the burden on the victims, the people as PG & E propose or CPUC is handling now?

Customers are disputing against PG & E the $2.2 billion pipeline that for years should be checked and updated and feel that the utility should have done most of the work in previous years as they were distributing the high profits among the executives.

Now, PG&E Chief Executive Anthony Earley is concerned about the fines exceeding the $200 million budgeted in 2010 and the Chief Financial Officer Kent Harvey noted that the decade or more of profits of $100 million a year are wiped off.  Certainly TURN numbers were not mentioned by Earley and were part of the high cost that led to the catastrophe.  Harvey said: “The cost represents 15 to 20 years of earnings, basically.”

If PG & E and CPUC would do their jobs, perhaps they would have many millions which are being wasted just on penalties, past due investigation and perhaps the San Bruno people should charge half of the costs to CPUC who like PG & E did not do their jobs.

                                                                        -30-

           

* Names were fictitiously written since no rights to publish were given – assignment was not going to be publishing, but a further instruction and a new assignment flipped to the Internet.

 

           

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