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Lawyer: PG&E Being Made Scapegoat in CPUC Probe

A lawyer for PG&E made opening remarks at a hearing Tuesday before state regulators and made the case that the utility shouldn't be blamed or fined for the 2010 San Bruno fire.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that PG&E, during a hearing Tuesday before state regulators, continued its claim that there wasn't anything the company could have done to prevent the San Bruno fire.

A PG&E lawyer also told the California Public Utilities Commission, which has been conducting a probe to determine whether PG&E should be fined millions of dollars for the fire, the company didn't agree that any its alleged safety violations contributed to the 2010 pipeline explosion.

According to the Chronicle, the lawyer, Joseph Malkin, told an administrative law judge in opening remarks in San Francisco:

"It's human nature when bad things happen to look for someone to blame—and make no mistake about it, that is what this proceeding is all about."

"While PG&E acknowledges that it is responsible for this terrible accident and its consequences," Malkin said, "it does not agree that once that pipe was put in the ground in 1956 there was anything any operator would reasonably have done that would have prevented this tragedy. Nor does PG&E agree that any of the alleged safety violations contributed in any way."

What do you think?

John Hanson September 26, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Why is P.G.E. inspecting other lines if their is No Problem? Should have been doing their job of inspecting lines long ago, with the money they were given to do so.
Bucksnort September 26, 2012 at 11:52 PM
How about their spiking the pressure intentionally to 400 psi TWICE in an effort to avoid proper testing procedures. They did it in 2003, and again in 2008, to extend the requirement to water test the line. Line 132 ruptured when an accidental spike in pressure rose to 387psi on Sept 9, 2010. Had that accidental spike not occurred, logic tells you it would have exploded in 2013, when their next intentional spike surely would have been scheduled. If it blew at 387 psi accidentally, there's no reason to believe it wouldn't have exploded before it reached 400 psi intentionally. They probably breathed a collective sigh of relief when the investigation showed an accidental malfunction as the cause, instead of a purposeful rise in pressure. Scapegoat....no. Criminally negligent...absolutely.
A Clark September 27, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Seems like the longer it takes for PG&E to finally be held accountable for our cities worse disaster, the foggier the memories of those in charge. Also, the folks who are attempting to get re-elected by using this tragedy to spear-head their campaigns, need to push and keep pushing for this greedy, who gives a crap about the public company to take care of the lives that they destroyed while being held accountable for any and all future events. Of course, I am wearing my rose-colored glasses but one can have a dream. I still have nightmares, whenever a plane takes off from the airport at 3am, because the sound is so similar to that of the explosion and "sound" of the fueling pipe that evening. I like so many have to live this issue for many years to come. PG&E PROMISED to take care of all the families who's lives were destroyed that day and shocker - now they are back pedaling. FIgures. We need to keep the pressure on them and those wonderful politicians who sounded the rally cry - make them take care of the what their "mess" and make sure it does not happen again.
Bite Koch September 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM
PG&E is not being scapegoated, they are the criminals who are guilty for this tragedy!

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