PG&E’s Profitable Threat to Our Critical Infrastructure

Back when PA’s Department of Homeland Security was investigating anti-fracking activists as potential terrorist threats to critical infrastructure, I noted that the bigger threat to critical infrastructure pipelines was corporations that pocket rate increases rather than dedicating them to maintaining the pipelines.

Just to take one example, who do you think is a greater risk to our oil and gas infrastructure? A bunch of hippie protesters trying to limit drilling in the Marcellus Shale and thereby protect the quality of their drinking water (which is, itself, considered critical infrastructure)? Or PG&E, which sat on knowledge of an extremely high risk pipeline for three years even after setting aside the money to fix it?

Now CA’s Public Utilities Commission is out with audit results that show just how negligent PG&E was.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. diverted more than $100 million in gas safety and operations money collected from customers over a 15-year period and spent it for other purposes, including profit for stockholders and bonuses for executives, according to a pair of state-ordered reports released Thursday.

An independent audit and a staff report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission depicted a poorly led company well-heeled in its gas operations and more concerned with profit than safety.

The documents link a deficient PG&E safety culture – with its “focus on financial performance” – to the pipeline explosion in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010, that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

The “low priority” the company gave to pipeline safety during the three years leading up to the San Bruno blast was “well outside industry practice – even during times of corporate austerity programs,” said the audit by Overland Consulting of Leawood, Kan.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who represents San Bruno, enunciates what’s going on perfectly.

“It is truly unconscionable that PG&E was allowed by the CPUC to steal ratepayer monies that should have been spent on safety and, instead, was put in the pockets of PG&E shareholders,” said Rep. Jackie Speier,

Though, if PG&E were Muslim and brown-skinned, they’d call this terrorism, not just theft.
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5 Responses to PG&E’s Profitable Threat to Our Critical Infrastructure

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emptywheel Is the Intelligence Community Inspector General Trying to Give Contractors Whistleblower Protections? https://t.co/nShubBLB7W
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emptywheel @CitizenA Now I just have to figure out a way to point out the illogic of his claims in front of national reporters like in 2006.
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JimWhiteGNV Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal – now it’s Israel’s turn | Javad Zarif http://t.co/VNK6kAh3kY
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emptywheel @CitizenA Just hope someone is capturing these public statements of support/wavering. I mean, if I need to go embarrass Mark Warner again...
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emptywheel @Buxtehude11 Or maybe hiring this kid is a better plan?
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emptywheel Shorter NYT: China has rags to riches women like Zhou Qunfei. US has Alice Walton. http://t.co/AwTnKRZ3jk
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emptywheel @LemonSlayerUS "failure in anger management" is what parents have to say when their kids go onto become serial killers.
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emptywheel RT @amy10506: It is decreed! No one shall rise to pee! https://t.co/q3PysZpGUz
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emptywheel @DanaHoule I've also found the importance of missions adds more sophistication to those communities than, say, the same in Mormon community.
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emptywheel @srubenfeld In any case, you'd have to hate all three, bc all three, incl Vikes, have been strong in recent years. Lately, not so in AFC E.
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