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July 31, 2014
05:34 EDTPCGPG&E affirms commitment to safety, says federal charges are 'unwarranted'
Pacific Gas & Electric expressed confidence that the legal process will uphold its position that federal charges contained within a superseding indictment formally filed today are unwarranted. The charges relate to 27 alleged violations of the federal Pipeline Safety Act as well as an allegation that the company attempted to obstruct a National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, investigation following the 2010 explosion of a natural gas transmission line in San Bruno. The superseding indictment, which replaces an indictment issued in April, was announced by the United States Attorney's Office, or USAO, in San Francisco late yesterday and filed today. "Based on all of the evidence we have seen to date and our review of the new indictment, we still do not believe that PG&E employees intentionally violated the federal Pipeline Safety Act, and that, even where mistakes were made, employees were acting in good faith to provide customers with safe and reliable energy. With respect to the allegation of obstruction, during the NTSB investigation PG&E responded to hundreds of questions and requests for information and documents from the NTSB on an expedited basis. In the one response questioned in the USAO charge, PG&E had submitted a cover sheet approval form mismatched to the wrong internal engineering document. PG&E corrected this error with a letter dated April 6, 2011. The NTSB published the letter on its accident investigation docket on September 30, 2011, and it has been publicly available since then. PG&E believes the letter is true and accurate and stands by it. We are confident the legal process will ensure all of the facts are fully reviewed. In the meantime, we want all of our customers to know that we will stay focused on transforming this 100-plus-year-old natural gas system into the safest and most reliable in the country. San Bruno was a tragic accident. We've taken accountability and are deeply sorry. We have worked hard to do the right thing for victims, their families and the community, and we will continue to do so. We are absolutely committed to re-earning the trust of all of the people we are fortunate to serve every day."
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April 9, 2015
15:32 EDTPCGSan Bruno resolution removes one overhang for PG&E, says Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo believes the resolution of the San Bruno investigation removes an overhang for PG&E, but notes that others remain, citing other investigation into the company that the CPUC has said it plans. The firm added that it is unclear about the CPUC's ability to influence the tax treatment of certain items involved in the decision, which it believes is worth monitoring. Wells has an Outperform rating on PG&E shares.
14:30 EDTPCGPG&E does not expect to appeal CPUC rulings on San Bruno explosion
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14:03 EDTPCGCPUC penalizes PG&E $1.6B for pipeline violations
The California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, imposed the largest penalty it has ever assessed by ordering Pacific Gas and Electric Company shareholders to pay $1.6B for the unsafe operation of its gas transmission system, including the pipeline rupture in San Bruno, Calif., in 2010. In approving CPUC President Michael Pickerís penalty proposal, the Commissioners increased the penalty amount $200M over what was proposed by Administrative Law Judges. The decision orders PG&E to pay $850M in gas transmission pipeline safety infrastructure improvements, most of which will be spent on capital investments that PG&E will not add to its rate base and thus will not earn any profit on; $300M in a fine to the stateís General Fund; $400M in a one-time bill credit spread across PG&Eís gas customers; and approximately $50M towards other remedies to enhance pipeline safety. When added to the disallowances already adopted in a prior CPUC Decision, the penalties and remedies exceed $2.2B. Shares of PG&E are down a bit more than 1% to $52.97 in afternoon trading after the decision.
13:40 EDTPCGPG&E ordered by California to pay $1.6B penalty for pipeline explosion
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