By PETER WARD
SAN FRANCISO (Bloomberg) -- Officials from
the city of San Bruno, California, have sought to resume talks
with PG&E Corporation, as state regulators move closer to a
decision on penalties for a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion
that killed eight people.
We have never met with Anthony Earley, the
chairman and CEO of San Francisco-based PG&E, City Manager
Connie Jackson said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters.
PG&E ended settlement talks last year and has rejected the
citys overtures to resume negotiations.
Earley, who took over in 2011, canceled a planned April 30
meeting as his office expressed a level of
dissatisfaction with press statements the city made, she
Earley said in an August interview that a recommended $2.25
billion penalty for the pipeline explosion in the San Francisco
suburb may force the company into bankruptcy. San Bruno said
the companys own expert witness has refuted that notion.
The recent discovery of corrosion on a pipeline under the
nearby city of San Carlos is an indicator PG&E hasnt
learned from the incident, Jackson said.
The San Carlos line was operating safely as determined by
industry standards that PG&E implemented following the San
Bruno accident, Brittany Chord, spokeswoman for PG&E, said
in a telephone interview.
We want to discover these kinds of issues on our
system so that we can find, fix, and analyze problems and
prevent them from occurring in the future, Chord
PG&E have to pay and it has to hurt, San
Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane said in the interview. Not to the
point where theyre out of business, nobody wants
Several parties including the California Public Utilities
Commissions office of ratepayer advocates are involved
with the penalty investigation and would need to be included in
settlement talks, Chord said.
The California Public Utilities Commission is our
regulator and makes the final decision regarding
penalties, Chord said. That said, we are committed
to working with the city and help them rebuild.
PG&E has given San Bruno $120 million including a $50
million trust and $70 million as restitution for the pipeline
blast, Chord said. PG&E holds regular meetings with San
Bruno and executives including Chris Johns, president of the
companys utility unit, have met the city on several
occasions, she said.
Time is running out for settlement talks between the city
and PG&E as the agency process nears its conclusion,
Jackson said. The commissions administrative law judges
have been working on penalty rulings for some time, Steven
Meyers, an attorney with Oakland, California-based Meyers Nave,
said in the interview.
We expect that within the next two months well
be seeing some conclusion from the ALJs, he said.