Assemblyman introduces three pipeline safety bills

January 9, 2012 7:42:40 PM PST
Monday, Assm. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, introduced three new bills designed to improve the safety of gas pipelines.

One of the bills would require state regulators and utility companies implement all 29 NTSB recommendations in the wake of the deadly, San Bruno pipeline disaster. Another would establish a whistleblower protection program for employees who disclose public safety concerns. And the third would require regulators set gas rates based on a utility's safety record.

Hill says utilities need to be held accountable.

"Utilities were gambling with the public safety. Less money spent on safety and pipe inspections, and pipe replacements, meant more money for profits. This culture of profits over safety needs to change," said Hill.

Hill's legislation comes in response to two explosions blamed on PG&E. First, the San Bruno explosion that killed eight people in September of 2010 and the natural gas line explosion that destroyed a town house in Cupertino last August.