PUC to Launch Full Investigation of San Bruno Explosion

Under intense pressure organized by TURN, the state Public Utilities Commission promised to begin a formal investigation of the pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people. The review will also cover the safety of pipelines throughout the entire state.

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—Under intense pressure, the state Public Utilities Commission promised Thursday to begin a formal investigation of the pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people. The review will also cover the safety of pipelines throughout the entire state.

Bowing to pressure from a consumer group and local lawmakers, and with two new pro-consumer commissioners on board appointed by Governor Jerry Brown, state PUC President Michael Peevey announced that he will ask the commission to launch its own, public investigation of the San Bruno disaster. One of those new commissioners is former Santa Clara law professor Catherine Sandoval.

“We will do whatever is necessary to investigate what actually happened, to determine what the causes are so that we can get to the root of it, and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again,” said Sandoval.

Longtime utility critic Mike Florio, now a PUC commissioner, promises the inquiry will not be a witch hunt. He said it will be based on facts and science, and will cover all utilities in the entire state, to make sure no more decaying pipelines blow up with deadly results.

“There is nothing more important to this commission than getting to the bottom of this and making sure the people of this state are safe,” said Florio.

The commission will formalize the investigation at its next meeting February 24th.