A group of residents from the Crestmoor neighborhood and several officials stood united today and asked for all California residents to join them in calling for the immediate removal of the CPUC president from his position.
Gathered at San Bruno Fire Station No. 52 with a large photo Michael Peevey, the president of the California Public Utilities Commission, the residents said at a news conference that Peevey’s actions since the 2010 PG&E pipeline explosion—and especially his leadership over the last few weeks—have exacerbated the pain and devastation they have had to endure.
“It’s apparent that the PUC has lost its way, just like PG&E,” said Kathy DeRenzi, who recently launched an online petition calling for Gov. Jerry Brown to replace Peevey with someone new. “In fact, sometimes it feels like the current PUC is just an extension of PG&E. The PUC’s responsibility is to serve the people and to provide a safe and reliable utility. We need new leadership that we can trust….We cannot wait another day.”
The CPUC recently decided to suspend its hearings on the PG&E penalty case, which stems from a CPUC investigation that found multiple deficiencies in PG&E's operations leading up to the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion.
The CPUC also made the sudden decision to appoint a former U.S. senator to help mediate talks about the proceedings, which many are calling a backroom deal between the CPUC and PG&E.
Critics, especially San Bruno residents, are now beyond fed up.
Mayor Jim Ruane and San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine said that they would be introducing resolutions at their respective government agency meetings to call for Peevey’s removal as well.
Ruane said he would additionally be contacting the League of California Cities to get other city councils to adopt the same resolution.
Assemblyman Jerry Hill accused Peevey of catering to utilities under his leadership and “going to the extreme” to prevent fines from being levied against PG&E for the San Bruno fire.
“He helped orchestrate a last-minute maneuver so PG&E would not have to take the stand and testify under oath about their pipeline safety deficienes and he allowed PG&E to handpick their own mediator so that they could settle on their own terms instead of what is in the public’s interest,” said Hill, D-San Mateo. “San Bruno residents have been through enough. Shame on your Michael Peevey for continuing their suffering through your actions.”
The petition calling for the removal of Peevey from his position, which has already garned more than 200 signatures, can be viewed at change.org.