SAN FRANCISCO, July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) released the following statement from Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Tom Bottorff in response to the California Public Utilities Commission staff's revised penalty recommendation for the San Bruno accident, PG&E's operation of its gas transmission pipeline system in or near locations of higher population density, and recordkeeping investigations:
"In its zeal to punish PG&E, the staff of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has lost sight of our important shared goal of making PG&E's natural gas operation the safest in the country as quickly as we possibly can.
"The newly revised penalty recommendation takes $300 million away from safety improvements and sends that money to the Legislature for general fund spending. In addition, staff's failure to account for total PG&E shareholder costs would force PG&E shareholders to spend $4 billion – about 40 times higher than the highest penalty ever assessed for a pipeline accident in the history of the U.S. The CPUC's own consultants acknowledged the financial risks of such a large penalty."It is difficult to understand how the CPUC expects PG&E to attract the capital necessary to maintain the extraordinary investment in safety currently underway, or raise billions of dollars more for safety improvements mandated by the CPUC. We hope that the Commission, in its final decision, will serve the interests of the public and all PG&E customers by remembering the harsh lessons learned a decade ago during the electricity crisis -- in order to keep investing in safety, PG&E must be able to attract capital." Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
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