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.
Tweet about this on Twitter3Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook1Google+0Email to someone

5 Responses to PG&E’s Profitable Threat to Our Critical Infrastructure

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel If it wasn't clear already, Saudi Arabia won the Arab Spring. http://t.co/WQNBNNmDt2
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mattduss Logic of not annoying Jewish constituents particularly odd giving increasing number of Jews coming out against assault.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mattduss Ellison?
18mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @mattduss: 47% of Democrats see Gaza assault as “unjustified,” a view completely unrepresented by Democrats in Congress. http://t.co/iga
18mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @gideonstrumpet Same principle as phone dragnet: 2 degrees of stop-and-frisk gets you into the NSA's maw permanently. And degrees =/= calls
19mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @gideonstrumpet: Here's my post as promised yesterday on the 'guilt by association exception to the Fourth Amendment' decision: http://t…
19mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Ali_Gharib Glad I didn't disappoint.
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Ali_Gharib The other 700,000 people on the watch list were more important, as was true for Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
26mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @nickshaxson: Stiglitz on Argentina default: this is America throwing a bomb into the global economic system http://t.co/mBJRUxAVRY
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I do hope someone gets @JohnKiriakou a copy of State's TPs, bc he'll be glad to know we could debate torture. @kgosztola
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Apparently State Department thinks impunity from torture is a sign of a healthy democracy. http://t.co/48gnOOJL2T
38mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joshgerstein Was thinking the same. He's not the only one either. Maybe he'll fact check them. Or at least BabyDick.
39mreplyretweetfavorite
January 2012
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031