Subcommittee meets on CPUC safety oversight

A state Senate subcommittee is holding a hearing to look into how the CPUC can improve safety oversight of utilities.
November 18, 2013 5:15:27 PM PST
A state Senate subcommittee is holding a hearing in San Francisco to look into how the California Public Utilities Commission can improve safety oversight of utilities.

The hearing by the subcommittee on Gas and Electric Infrastructure Safety is chaired by Peninsula State Sen. Jerry Hill.

The hearing is just one of many across a number of government bodies since the San Bruno PG&E pipeline explosion three years ago where eight people were killed and 38 homes destroyed. That accident exposed failures and weaknesses in the safety systems at PG&E and the CPUC. This hearing is part of the ongoing process to correct them.

CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio told the legislators that they need more people and better training to do a better job and that a return to so-called "zero-based" budget planning should help. It's a system where the budget is built from scratch, rather than based on the prior year.

San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson says she hopes an independent monitor will be created to watch over the CPUC on safety. That could require legislation.

The subcommittee has asked for a status report on changes at the CPUC in several months.

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