Regulators, utilities called cozy

May 8, 2013
Diablo Canyon

Diablo Canyon

Pointing to ongoing operational deficiencies on the part of Pacific Gas & Electric, California lawmakers are focusing angry attention on the utility’s regulatory agency, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.

PG&E owns and operates the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in Avila Beach.

Legislative criticism centers around the state agency’s alleged failure to make a priority of its mission, namely to ensure safe utility service. Much of the heat has been aimed at PUC Chairman Michael Peevey, a Brown appointment, and there have been calls for his resignation by several lawmakers.

A San Mateo lawmaker, Democrat Sen. Jerry Hill, represents the area where PG&E’s so-called San Bruno Pipeline exploded in 2010, killing eight and injuring 60. Hill told the newspaper that a leadership change at PUC is needed “to change the culture of complacency.”

An internal report requested by the PUC chided the agency for a lackadaisical commitment to safety and a too-cozy relationship with utility companies it is supposed to regulate.


Loading...

15 Comments

  1. LAH says:

    I doubt things will change even if they replace Peevey. PGE has always done what they want, followed by rate increases to cover their negligence. Our bill went up $19 this month despite our usual usage plus being out of town for 4 days! We are paying for the San Bruno fiasco of course. And it will happen again. Old infrastructure replacement will probably double our rates. Can’t wait for those $10 solar panels to hit the market. Or time to install those marine wind generators. Only way to control PGE is to get off the grid.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Sounds as if you needed to take a look at a Tesla generator.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • LAH says:

        For sure! Would be fun to suit up and play with one of those anyway! Could put on quite a show for the neighbors. They could just drive by and power up their laptops and such!

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Jorge Estrada says:

    We can be thankful that the south side of the Cuesta Grade has been upgraded to three lanes in each direction. When the sirens go off all six lanes will be northbound, as intended in the escape plan, but I’ll give it five minutes before there are six lanes of spectators who can only listen to the sirens.

    Just over the hill it is two lanes in each direction and to complicate this issue, throughout this stretch of STATE HIGHWAY between San Luis Obispo and Santa Margarita, there are public and priviate roads that pour into the highway.

    With no parallel surface roads to control and manage safety, one can just imagine the cluster that will occur during the great escape.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. Ted Slanders says:

    As TRUE Christians, who in the hell cares if the Diablo Canyon Nuclear plant is unsafe? If the plant blows up, and takes out the entire county and then some, it only puts us TRUE Christians on the fast track to heaven! Praise!

    Once in heaven, we can look forward to absolutely no sex (Matthew 22:30), therefore we men won’t have to hear the statement; “I have a headache” anymore. Then we can also look forward to walking long distances around the perimeter of heaven since it is 1400 square miles, and a wall of 200 feet high, which will keep the JW’s out. (Revelations 21:16-17)

    Yes, walking around heaven with Jesus, day after day, month after month, every day, talking and walking, and then some more talking and walking, yearly, for eternity. Our conversations with Jesus can be about the rat Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ disciples, turning water to wine, His walking on water, etc. What a wonderful thing to look forward too!

    Remove all regulations for Diablo’s safety, because what has the TRUE Christian have to lose?

    “As soon as the gold in the casket rings, the rescued soul to heaven springs.”

    (-5) 11 Total Votes - 3 up - 8 down
  4. bobfromsanluis says:

    Just another example of how “shrinking government” has real life consequences; underfund a regulatory agency, under staff it, deny approval for management positions and what do we get? A regulatory agency with no teeth, no ability to oversee the sector they are supposed to regulate; is anyone really surprised? Government is supposed to do the things that individuals cannot do alone; we, as individuals cannot build our own roads, fight fires, educate all of the children or regulate business to insure that the goods, services and utilities offered are safe and do not “rip-off” the consumer. Government agencies can be too big, ineffective as well, that is why all agencies need to audited on a regular basis with the audit being conducted by those not within that same agency.
    In the case of the PUC, if the agency were funded, staffed and managed as well as it could be, perhaps it could fulfill its mission in protecting the public; but keep denying approval for those in management positions, keep cutting the budget, keep the staffing under-manned and this is what you get, a regulatory agency that allows too much influence by those that are supposed to be regulated. Are you anti-government types really surprised here? Or do you honestly believe that this is how governmental agencies are supposed to function?

    (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      ” if the agency were funded, staffed and managed as well as it could be, perhaps it could fulfill its mission in protecting the public” and then again perhaps not. “An internal report requested by the PUC chided the agency for a lackadaisical commitment to safety and a too-cozy relationship with utility companies it is supposed to regulate.”

      Get rid of the political cronyism first and put competent and ethical people in charge. Then if they are still having problems, we can discuss budgetary solutions.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • bobfromsanluis says:

        Putting “competent and ethical people in charge” would require approval by the legislature to fill those positions; I happen to agree with you that we need good, honest public servants in positions of oversight to diminish the possibility of corruption, but that also means we need representatives who will do the work of digging into the past performance of those being nominated for those positions and actually voting to fill the positions, something conservative politicians don’t seem interested in doing. I know that some Democrats are no better, no argument, but almost to a man (or woman), conservatives don’t want public servants doing a good job since they seem to have no faith in government being able to serve the public good.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  5. easymoney says:

    “Legislative criticism centers around the state agency’s alleged failure to make a priority of its mission, namely to ensure safe utility service. Much of the heat has been aimed at PUC Chairman Michael Peevey, a Brown appointment, and there have been calls for his resignation by several lawmakers.”

    I’m shocked, speachless…
    Our legislature is chock full of those who benefit from relationships, over which they are supposed to monitor and manage in the name of the public…

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  6. Spirit Filled says:

    I don’t really care about all that crap. Just give me a break on my bill. That’s where it hurts. Old people need a break just like everyone else. Blessings

    (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
    • ososkid says:

      Well “all that crap” is why you’re not getting a break, and often getting ripped off by the regulatory capture the prevails within the present political system, that allows for legalized bribery, by allowing money into our politics. So maybe you should care, since the results your apathy affect all of us.

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
      • Spirit Filled says:

        Now I care even less. All the talk is just talk. BS with some smoke and mirrors. Give me a break on my bill please. I’m getting too old to listen to the crap and not seeing any results. Save your breath til we see a savings somewhere will you?

        God Bless

        (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
        • easymoney says:

          spirit,
          Don’t hold your breath, it may take forever to see any breaks.
          How about your medical insurance, have they given you a break? Me neither, but I just got a letter today about a settlement from Anthem dropping my premium $18 a month, so I guess there might be hope yet…

          (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
        • ososkid says:

          You’re too old? Then don’t worry. It won’t be much longer.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.