Controversy Over PUC Recommended $2.25 Billion PG&E Fine

Major newspapers are covering a recommendation by the California Public Utilities Commission to fine PG&E over $2.25 billion for negligence that led to a catastrophic gas explosion in San Bruno in 2010. Most outlets have taken the angle that PG&E deserves the enormous award for “decades of negligence.”  Associated PressLos Angeles TimesWall Street Journal.

The San Francisco Chronicle took another side, raising a some good points: the money should be used to increase safety, not simply to punish PG&E.

The fines proposed by San Bruno and The Utility Reform Network would not threaten PG&E’s stability, Earley said. But by increasing the cost and difficulty of raising capital, it could slow the speed of pipeline repairs and upgrades.

IVN will be following up on this story later this week.