May 7, 2013 | Mark Paradies

Los Angeles Times reports: “$2.25-billion penalty recommended in San Bruno blast”

Some amazing quotes in the LA Times story:

“Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric should pay a record $2.25-billion penalty for a 2010 natural gas explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and devastated a neighborhood, regulators recommended Monday.”

“A report released Monday by the Commission’s Safety and Enforcement Division said its investigators found more than 100 violations by the company, some dating back decades.”

“‘Imposing a fine for each violation … would result in tens of billions of dollars of fines, which is more than PG&E’s net worth,’ the report said.”

“Regulators said they agreed on $2.25 billion “‘Because PG&E needs to retain its creditworthiness in order to be able to pay for its improvements in the safety of its facilities, as well as to procure natural gas and electric power.'”

What is the cost of an accident? Seems like this one could come close to bankrupting the company. Will they have any money left for improvement?

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