Michael Peevey at a December meeting of the state Public Utilities Commission. (Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)
It’s almost impossible these days to see the name Michael Peevey without the word “embattled” attached to it. Peevey stepped down last December after serving two six-year terms on the California Public Utilities Commission, almost all of them as PUC president. He has been subjected to withering public criticism up and down the state for fostering a too-cozy relationship between the PUC and the utility firms he was charged with regulating, most recently Pacific Gas & Electric. “Don’t shoot, I surrender,” Peevey wryly told the commission at its December meeting, a comment that drew laughs.
A devastated zone in San Bruno following the 2010 gas pipeline explosion. (Photo: Brocken Inaglory)
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. should pay an unprecedented $1.4 billion in fines and penalties stemming from the 2010 gas pipeline blast in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed three dozen homes, state regulators ruled. Penalties against PG&E stemming from the explosion now exceed $2 billion – the $1.4 billion announced Tuesday and $635 million from an earlier decision involving aging pipelines.