Sen. Dodd Calls for Leadership Shakeup at PG&E
NAPA – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, called today for change of executive leadership at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. following a California Public Utilities Commission report alleging the utility falsified documents relating to underground gas pipelines, like the one that exploded in San Bruno in 2010, killing eight people. The findings come as the utility faces billions of dollars in potential legal liability for the series of historic wildfires that swept across the state over the past year, taking many more lives and threatening the very existence of some communities.
“PG&E has demonstrated a pattern of poor management and illegal conduct that has shattered lives across California,” Sen. 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.”
On Friday, Dec. 14, The CPUC announced it had investigated PG&E and found it falsified “pipeline locate-and-mark” records over a five-year-period, from 2012-2017. 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.
An administrative law judge will hear testimony from investigators and PG&E before deciding appropriate penalties.
CPUC President Michael Picker said the findings are “another example of why we are investigating PG&E’s safety culture.”
In June, Cal Fire investigators found evidence that a dozen wildfires that erupted in Northern California in 2017, killing 46 people, were caused by PG&E equipment in violation of state law, and forwarded them to local district attorneys for further action. Investigations are ongoing to determine if PG&E had a role in this year’s wildfires, the most destructive and deadly in California history. However, recent wrongful death lawsuits allege PG&E is to blame.
“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,” Sen. 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."
Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.