How badly should PG&E suffer from a state fine over the 2010
explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and leveled 38 homes?
The Petaluma City Council will consider that question next week, and might ask the California Public Utilities Commission to lower its proposed $2.25 billion fine on the grounds that it could hurt the work PG&E does in Sonoma County.
Bloomberg reported that if state regulators do in fact level a $2.25 billion fine against PG&E, it could force the utility company into bankruptcy if it can't sell enough stock to pay the penalty. And the Oakland Tribune said PG&E might increase rates to offset pain from increased borrowing costs as a result of a state fine.
A proposed resolution the Petaluma council will take up at its Monday, Oct. 7 meeting references past grants and low-interest loans from PG&E to the North Bay city, as well as work the utility did to move some Petaluma power lines underground. It also says PG&E needs to upgrade its natural gas and electric infrastructure in Petaluma.
The proposed resolution "urges the California Public Utilities Commission to set a fine for the San Bruno disaster that substantially punishes PG&E for its misconduct but that, at the same time, does not threaten to disrupt work important to communities throughout PG&E's service territory."
The resolution was the brainchild of Council Member Mike Healy, a city staff report states. It doesn't suggest exactly how much PG&E should be fined.
Petaluma City Council meeting
6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7
11 English St.