SAN FRANCISCO, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) and its subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), today filed a disclosure document with the Securities and Exchange Commission reporting that they expect that the federal government will bring criminal charges against the utility in connection with the 2010 San Bruno natural gas transmission pipeline accident.
The company has been in discussions with the U.S. Attorney's Office in an effort to reach a fair resolution of the federal investigation related to San Bruno. PG&E welcomes continued dialogue toward a resolution, but now expects that the U.S. Attorney will charge that PG&E's past operating practices violated the federal Pipeline Safety Act in areas such as record keeping, pipeline integrity management and identification of pipeline threats.
PG&E Chairman and CEO Tony Earley, who was brought in to lead PG&E in 2011 after the San Bruno accident, said:
" San Bruno was a tragic accident that caused a great deal of pain for many people. We're accountable for that and make no excuses. Most of all, we are deeply sorry. We have worked hard to do the right thing for victims, their families and the community, and we will continue to do so. We've learned the tragic lesson of San Bruno that safety must always come first. Toward this end, we've implemented enormous change here at PG&E. We're working to transform this 100-plus-year-old natural gas system into the safest and most reliable in America. In support of this, we've committed $2.7 billion of shareholders' money to date and we're making excellent operational progress. We have more work to do and we intend to do it right."
PG&E believes that criminal charges are not merited and that PG&E employees did not intentionally violate the federal Pipeline Safety Act. The company believes that, even where mistakes were made, employees were acting in good faith to provide customers with safe, reliable, affordable, clean energy. The company pledged to maintain its strong focus on safety during what is expected to be a lengthy legal process.