California regulators have proposed that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pay a record $2.25-billion penalty for its role in causing a fatal 2010 natural gas explosion in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The proposed financial penalty comes almost three years after the Sept. 9, 2010, explosion of a transmission line that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in a neighborhood near the San Francisco International Airport.
The total includes a $300-million fine to be paid to the California treasury and $1.95 billion for safety upgrades to the company's gas distribution system, The Times reported. About $1.5 billion would be paid by shareholders and the balance would be returned as a credit to PG&E for already completed distribution system repairs and safeguards.
The fines are overdue, Tom Long, legal director for the Utility Reform Network, told the newspaper. “The public is still waiting for PG&E to be held accountable,” he said. “It seems obvious that penalties should reduce PG&E's profits, rather than cushion PG&E's shareholders.”
To read the Los Angeles Times story, click here.