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PG&E Pipeline Explosion Hushed by Calif. Public Utilities Commish?

One has to wonder why the media in California are not talking about the results of the investigation into the 2010 pipeline explosion that killed 8 people in San Bruno? It would seem like a natural story of a public utility’s arrogance and negligence, but somehow few people are aware of the details.

You may recall the disaster that befell San Bruno, California when a 54-year-old pipeline exploded killing eight people and destroying dozens of homes. Afterward the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was charged with investigating the incident and some of its findings are nothing short of shocking. (Download reportHERE)

The report seems to be going unnoticed by many, sadly, but it shows that Pacific Gas & Electric failed in so many areas that it almost seems criminal. Safety was ignored even back in 1956 when the pipeline was first laid.

According to the report, the original welds on the pipeline did not even meet the standards and engineering specifications in 1956.

Apparently, PG&E has a complete breakdown of records keeping, too. According to the report PG&E classified the pipeline that blew up as a “seamless pipe,” instead of welded construction. Not only were the records wrong but it wasn’t even possible for the pipe to be seamless. Because of the size of the pipe and the age it is impossible for it to have been of seamless construction.

These sort of errors in record keeping appear to be endemic with PG&E and this puts many such facilities at risk not to mention the people that live near them.

PG&E had been fined many millions already before the accident yet none of the problems endemic in its operations had been fixed. Naturally, PG&E has been claiming it needs more money, but even so the company had no problem spending $46 million on the Prop 16 campaign aimed at awarding the company a monopoly for providing California’s energy needs.

So, why has this damning report been ignored so much? Why haven’t politicians been screaming about this? Why has the media been so silent?

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