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Mayor, Advocates to Protest Appointment of Mediator

Mayor Jim Ruane, Assemblyman Jerry Hill and others say the decision to appoint a former U.S. senator to help mediate talks about the PG&E penalty case was a "backroom deal between the CPUC and PG&E."

The city, along with several other agencies, has come out in protest of the CPUC's recent appointment of a former U.S. senator to help mediate talks about the PG&E penalty case.

Mayor Jim Ruane, Assemblyman Jerry Hill, The Utility Reform Network and the Division of Ratepayer Advocates are expected to file a formal protest of the decision on Wednesday at the California Public Utilities Commission’s headquarters in San Francisco. The city and county of San Francisco have also joined the protest.

The CPUC announced Monday that former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell has been brought in to help PG&E, the CPUC’s safety enforcement staff, and other agencies reach an agreement in three cases arising out of the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion. It is expected that the fines levied against PG&E could range anywhere from $200 million to $2.2 billion.

"The California Public Utilities Commission’s appointment of Senator George Mitchell as mediator in the San Bruno cases was a backroom deal between the Commission and PG&E," the group said in a statement. "A mediator was chosen without the input or consent of any party, except PG&E."

The group is expected to file the protest at 10 a.m.

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Jeffrey Shurtleff October 17, 2012 at 04:56 AM
PG&E put investor profits before public safety, but the crime blew up on them. In our San Bruno Community, people were terrorized, injured and killed by PG&E's ABUSE of POWER. Now PG&E and the CPUC still want us to pay for their crimes and for their safety upgrades. NEVER. They gave our safety out as investor profits, now those investors must pay it back with interest. Problem is.....PG&E is NOT interested in us, nor in our safety....only in our payments. Let's show PG&E our power. We are the 99%.
Mark Taylor October 17, 2012 at 06:57 AM
I see it more simply: they do not want it in a public forum. By moving to mediation, they can close the doors and keep the public (and the press) out. This is a bad move by the CPUC. This must be done in a public forum to prevent charges of cronyism, favoritism, or any other back room deal.

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