Pacific Gas and Electric Company is now in the sights California State Senator Bill Dodd. The Democrat from Napa on Thursday called for change in executive leadership at PG&E following a California Public Utilities Commission report alleging the utility falsified documents on the condition of gas pipelines, like the one which caused an explosion in a San Bruno neighborhood in 2010 and left eight people dead. The CPUC investigators determined the utility lacked sufficient staff and that it pressured supervisors to falsify safety data so it would not appear to have been performed or submitted late.
That CPUC report coming at the same time that the utility company faces liability lawsuits related to series of historic wildfires that swept across the state over the past year which could cost billions of dollars. An administrative law judge will hear testimony from investigators and PG&E before deciding appropriate penalties.
"PG&E has demonstrated a pattern of poor management and illegal conduct that has shattered lives across California," Senator Dodd said. "This latest revelation underscores the need for systematic change, which must include change on the board of directors and in the executive suite."
Dodd noted that Cal Fire investigators found evidence that a dozen 2017 wildfires in Northern California, some of which were fatal, were caused by PG&E equipment which did not comply with state law.
"Right now there’s a bunker mentality that makes it impossible for the necessary change to occur at PG&E and to ensure the long-term safety of our state and the financial well-being of ratepayers," Senator Dodd said. "We must see clear and meaningful change, and I expect the CPUC to take action to force improvements in PG&E's governance and safety culture."