Two years after the fatal PG&E explosion in San Bruno, TURN is still fighting to make sure that PG&E fixes the errors, ineptitude and casual attitude toward safety that led to the blast.
It’s no surprise that PG&E wants customers to pay over $2.2 billion in overdue safety measures, and the same inflated rate of return the utility gets on other capital investments. TURN is demanding a public process to hold P&GE accountable, and, with our allies, recently defeated a back room deal to bring in Senator George Mitchell of Piper DLA to mediate the CPUC proceedings that will determine how much PG&E is penalized.
Not only did PG&E and the CPUC try to bring Mitchell in without consulting the other parties in the case, TURN, the CPUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates, the City and County of San Francisco and the City of San Bruno also discovered that Senator Mitchell’s firm had conflicts of interest in the case.
After alerting the media and the CPUC to the problem, TURN turned to Senator Mitchell himself, urging him to withdraw in favor of a more inclusive process that would allow all the parties to determine whether mediation was the best course, and, if so, who would be the most appropriate mediator. At press time, inclusive talks were expected to begin at the CPUC in the near future.