Pacific Gas & Electric CEO to California Public Utilities Commission: FU — Oh, Yeah, and and I’m Retiring and Taking $35 Million With Me!Apr 22nd, 2011 | By admin | Category: Lead Articles, Natural Gas Explosions
From the Saw-This-One-Coming-From-A-Mile-Away File: Pacific Gas & Electric executives have pretty much told the members of the California Public Utilities Commission to go screw themselves after the agency asked the utility to produce a complete set of records pertaining to the 1,800 miles of natural gas pipeline that snakes throughout the state.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the utility, in a filing made Thursday afternoon, the utility stated that it will never be able to find all the records, particularly those that relate to some of the utility’s older pipelines, and that if the PUC wasn’t prepared to accept some “assumptions” (the utility’s word) about the pipelines, then PG&E would spend five years shutting them all down and testing them with water.
To read the filing PG&E made, click here – and really, you gotta read this thing. It’s a remarkable exercise in corporate hubris, considering the massive amount of damage that was done by the San Bruno explosion, the potential for another, similar incident and the rather reasonable request made by the CPUC following the explosion.
In their request, the California PUC asked PG&E to come up with all “traceable, verifiable and complete” records pertaining to the natural gas pipeline infrastructure.
Instead of complying, though, PG&E basically bitches and moans about the burden of the request and complains that no one could meet the standard of documentation that the CPUC has set down.
The best part, though, is where PG&E basically tells the members and staff of the CPUC to go screw themselves.
From the filing:
“At the end of the day, if the Commission does not consider PG&E’s methodology to result in a valid MAOP, PG&E’s compliance plan must be revisited. A records-based MAOP approach that accepts only a 100 percent perfect document chain is simply not feasible. The only alternative to a records-based MAOP test is a pressure test. If this is the commission’s preference, PG&E must plan to pressure-test or replace 705 mile of HCA pipelines that are presently part of the compliance plan.
“As the commission knows, PG&E already has plans to hydrotest 152 miles of HCA pipelines this year without prior pressure tests this year. This is an extraordinary and ambitious undertaking, requiring testing of about 220 miles of pipelines and representing about five to 10 times the amount of hydro testing PG&E does in an average year. If PG&E is required to pressure test all of the 705 miles of HCA pipelines that are the subject of the MAOP validation in its compliance plan, and, if PG&E can sustain this level of activity year after year, it will take approximately five years to complete the pressure tests.”
And in other PG&E news, the company’s Chairman, CEO and President, Peter Darbee just announced his impending retirement, effective at the end of the month — oh yeah, and he’s getting close to $35 million in severance on his way out the door.
The President of the California PUC, Michael Peavey, was rather charitable in his reaction to the news of Darbee’s departure, noting that,” While obviously the company under his leadership has been responsible for several poor and consequential decisions, Mr. Darbee’s commitment to PG&E and its constituents is unquestioned.”
Peavey urged PG&E to “to return to its roots by hiring the most technically competent person; someone with a long-standing history of performance in the energy industry.”
The CPUC did not have an immediate reaction to PG&E’s filing in response to the document request; a spokesperson told naturalgaswatch.org that the agency’s staff is studying PG&E’s filing and will respond at the appropriate time.