A devastated zone in San Bruno following the 2010 gas pipeline explosion. (Photo: Brocken Inaglory)
Six years after the devastating San Bruno natural gas pipeline blast led to the deaths of eight people, the California Public Utilities Commission has not been held accountable for what elected officials say was its role in the tragedy. State Sen. Jerry Hill, Assemblyman Kevin Mullin and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane are trying to change that.
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.