PG&G diverted safety funds to bonuses

March 28, 2015

san-bruno-firePG&E diverted more than $100 million in monies for safety and operations to bonuses for executives and shareholder profits over a 15-year period that is linked to the 2010 San Bruno disaster, according to an independent audit and a staff report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday.

The documents describe a poorly led company that is more concerned with profit than safety. Also, the commission said the pattern of spending is linked to the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. [SFGate]

The information uncovered in the documents could lead to millions of dollars in fines. In addition, the commission recommended changes in how PG&E spends money on gas-system maintenance before it seeks additional ratepayer funds.

Specifically, PG&E should allocate $95.4 million that the company under-spent on capital expenditures since 1997 – including pipeline replacement – for those purposes, it should use the $430 million in additional revenue it collected since 1999 “to fund future transmission and storage operations,” and it should use $39.3 million that it collected but failed to spend for pipeline-transmission operations and maintenance since 1997 for those purposes.

Suggestions that are not in line with PG&E’s current plans.

In August, PG&E outlined a plan to modernize its gas-transmission lines in response to the San Bruno disaster. PG&E’s plan is to spend $2.2 billion in upgrading its gas transmission systems, with 90 percent of that to be paid by gas customers through rate increases, with the rest covered by company investors.

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mbactivist1

This is the worst outcome I have heard of that resulted from PG&E’s lack of concern for the public, but it is far from the only one. When I was living up north, PG&E laid off a large number of the technicians who get the power back on after a storm. Not long after they did that, there was a huge storm that knocked out power to a wide area. This was in the middle of winter. It was cold it got dark very early. In my area, many thousands were without power for five full days. Others had it even worse.


After that, there was such an outcry that PG&E re-hired some of the technicians, but the damage had already been done. In addition to all the inconvenience, a lot of money was lost by businesses and individuals. Everything in freezers and refrigerators was obviously gone. PG&E only paid for part of the loss. When I submitted my claim, I talked to one of their agents. He offered a sum substantially less than the value of what I had lost. I still remember what he said – “Everybody cheats in a situation like this” Really? I don’t think so, but that certainly demonstrated how people at that company think. Since they cheat the consumer out of the safe and reliable service customers should be able to expect, they figure everyone else cheats too.


SnakePliskin

Capitalism doing what it does best… all they know is more.


analyticone

No, if it was capitalism there would be an open market, and there would be competition.


What we have here is a monopoly that uses the money it receives from customers who have nowhere else to go and ‘reinvests’ that money by distributing it to shareholders and high-ranking executives instead of in safety infrastructure to better serve the customers, or reinvests it fighting measures that would allow others to provide gas or electric service.


indigo1955

The elite being greedy? Shocker….


Chena Cat

Stand by for huge rate increases. The other criminal was the head of the California Public Utilities Commission who granted rate increase after rate increase….as he received kick-backs. And we rate payers take it in the wallet and purse time after time after time. It will never end, and don’t wait for any refunds for the wasted monies you paid in as rate payers. That’s all lost forever. I’m just so glad that my family is able to leave this God forsaken, mismanaged county and state.


scoopone

Does anyone remember the explosion @ 1 Market Plaza in S. Francisco, about the mid-

80’s. PCB’s raining down on the firemen while fighting the blaze. Another PGE

fiasco at the time. Can be researched in the S.F. Chronicle. Paper was critical of the

company management at the time.


hijinks

PG&E: Pollution, Graft and Extortion. Of course, nothing could possibly conceivably ever ever go wrong at Diablo. Just ask PG&E.


GrayGranny2010

And PG&E has no compassion or understanding if you are on hard times and need an extended tine to pay your bill…it is their way or your electricity is turned off.


Latte2Party

PG&E: Better Sorry Than Safe.


tomsquawk

I’m disappointed in big government, regulation, etc, but I don’t like the people who feed at the public trough. Nor do I like investors who know we’re paying. I don’t know how we break this train.


SLO_Johnny

The Public Utilities Commission regulates PG&E and other utilities. It is a very highly regulated business. The PUC sets the prices and regulates profits. All capital spending plans must be approved by the PUC. Everyone knew that the pipes in San Bruno are almost 100 years old and were not built to modern standards. The problem is that replacing the pipes requires ripping up neighborhoods that were built over and around the pipes. Rerouting the pipes requires the government to claim eminent domain and take private property and give the gas company easements to lay the pipe.