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CA Insurance Commissioner For Criminal Negligence Investigation And Charges Against PG&E
by Dina Padilla
Monday Sep 13th, 2010 1:16 PM
California Insurance Commissioner Candidate Dina Padilla is calling for criminal investigations over the failure and negligence by PG&E executives in properly protecting the people of San Bruno, California. Seven people were killed and 37 homes destroyed from the high pressure gas explosion despite the fact that on July 4, 2010 complaints were made to PG&E about a gas smell

Press Release: CA Insurance Commissioner Calls For Criminal Negligence Investigation And Charges Against PG&E In San Bruno Blast
Statement From Insurance Commissioner Candidate Dina Padilla On San Bruno PG&E Explosion

I give my condolences to the families and community in San Bruno who have been traumatized and suffered with deaths, injuries and the destruction of their homes and community.
As a candidate for Insurance Commissioner in the State Of California I believe that evidence is clear that PG&E is criminally negligent since many residents had told them for weeks ahead of the explosion that there were serious gas fumes coming out of the ground. One resident reported today that on July 4, 2010 their family had made reports to PG& E about the gas leak.
As candidate for Insurance Commissioner I believe that PG&E is criminally negligent and is incapable in properly defending the lives and property of California residents.
It is unacceptable and an outrage to me and the people of California. I call on the the California Attorney General to investigate this incident and to file criminal charges against the owners and executives of PG&E. They need to pay personally for the deaths and injuries in this terrible incident. I also support action to municipalize the PG&E utility under public control and for it to be run for the working people of California.
I support Eminent Domain action by the State Of California to take control of this out of control utility operation. A previous gas explosion in Sacramento area Rancho Cordova in December 2008, Wilbert Paana was killed and the National Transportation Safety Board found them responsible yet this board did not require that there be a full scale investigation of all gas transmission lines of PG&E.
The corporate take-over of the California PUC, the NTSB by PG&E is part and parcel of the deregulation of industry by both the Democrats and Republicans. While refusing to properly protect the public, PG&E executives have tens of millions of dollars to spend on ballot propositions.
This corporation only this year spent more than $50 million of utility user funds to support Proposition 16 in a ballot initiative to prevent local communities from municipalizing the operations of this out of control utility. Apparently it has money to push propositions profiting this utility monopoly but is criminally negligent in making sure the system is safe for the people of San Bruno and California. It is time that these corporate criminals be put on trial and that control of this utility be put under the control of the people of California.
I also call for full compensation of the residents of the San Bruno disaster and a public hearing about the causes of this explosion so it does not happen again to any more communities in California. We cannot afford to wait for the next explosion with further deaths and destruction.

Dina Padilla
http://www.padilla4insurancecommissioner.com

Dina J. Padilla
Contact Information and Informative Websites:
Phone: 916.725.2673
Insurance Commissioner: http://www.padilla4insurancecommissioner.com
§Dina Padilla
by Dina Padilla Monday Sep 13th, 2010 1:16 PM

Dina Padilla, the Peace and Freedom candidate for California Insurance Commissioner candidate Padilla is calling for a criminal investigation of PG&E executives for negligence and also for public control of this privately run utility.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by ...moi...
Monday Sep 13th, 2010 8:32 PM
PG & E spent $46 million in their attempt to pass Proposition 16 in June. Prop 16 would have limited the ability of local governments to enter the electricity business and compete with PG&E. The proposition failed to pass because people who are in districts with PG&E service overwhelmingly voted NO. Maybe if the utility giant had spent some of that $ on taking care of business and fixing old pipelines instead of trying to crush their competition? It's time for PUBLIC utilities. They have been successful in places like Sacramento and Palo Alto...
by Gil
Monday Sep 13th, 2010 10:37 PM
As to the cause of the San Bruno inferno: Everyone is wondering just why PG&E had not replaced the natural gas pipe since its installation in 1948.
PG&E has been found negligent before.
In 1994 there was a huge fire in Nevada County CA, that destroyed dozens of houses. Tree limbs that PG&E was supposed to trim were brushing against the company’s power lines. The local district attorney sued and evidence came to light that PG&E had taken $80 million from ratepayers-- money that was supposed to be used for tree trimming--and diverted it to executive salaries.
The company was found guilty of criminal negligence and fined $2 million. So reports the SF Bay Guardian.
by Now Is the Hour for Public Power
Tuesday Sep 14th, 2010 7:30 AM
See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/09/13/BA261FDDD8.DTL&tsp=1
"San Bruno blast: PG&E backs bid to bill public"
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle September 13, 2010 07:43 PM Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Clearly, what the people of San Bruno need to do is sue PG&E for millions of dollars and bankrupt it, so we can have public power. In fact, there most certainly will be lots of multi-million dollar lawsuits as the houses in San Bruno range from $335,000 to $825,000 with most near the higher figure. See http://www.homelistingsfinder.com/mlslistings.html?Source=GoogleGeo&State=CA&City=San%20Bruno&Type=Homes%20for%20Sale&gclid=CMCY6eyPh6QCFQcHbAodgHiZHg
PG&E only exists because it milks us dry, and in this Great Depression of the 21st Century, we are already dry. Los Angeles, Palo Alto and Sacramento all have public power and San Francisco's public buildings and electric buses are all on public power. It is criminally insane to have any private profit utilities as our very lives depend on them. The private profit system is by definition criminal and needs to be abolished with all deliberate speed. The 2 public power parties are Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party as follows:
http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/
or
http://peaceandfreedom.org/2010/
with Ms. Padilla's site at
http://peaceandfreedom.org/2010/statewide-offices/dina-padilla
Dina has my vote.

The Green Party is at
http://www.cagreens.org/
Now another statement has been issued by a Peace and Freedom Party candidate, this time Robert J. Evans, running for Attorney General. When, oh when, will Democrats or Republicans chime in with the demand that PG&E be placed under public ownership? (When they stop taking corporate money, that's when. Don't hold your breath.) Now might be a good time to draft an initiative.

Here is Evans' statement:

EVANS DEMANDS PG&E INVESTIGATION

As the Peace and Freedom Party nominee for California Attorney General, I call for a full and open investigation of the recent tragedy in San Bruno. The explosion of the Pacific Gas and Electric natural gas line caused the deaths of seven people, terrible injuries to others, and millions of dollars in property damage. Based on reports made public, it appears that evidence of leaks was reported to PG&E considerably before the disaster, but ignored. We need to know as soon as possible what other PG&E disasters are waiting to happen.

There is mounting evidence that PG&E diverted tens of millions of dollars earmarked under the law for pipeline replacement and repair into other uses, which may have included the tens of millions spent on the attempt to pass Proposition 16. Proposition 16 would have made municipal takeovers of utilities almost impossible.

I call on the California Public Utilities Commission, the present California Attorney General, and the San Mateo County District Attorney, to pursue all avenues of redress, including criminal prosecution. I ask that no rate increases be passed on to consumers of PG&E to pay for this disaster, and that rate increases already granted for the purpose of pipeline replacement and repairs which were not done be retroactively rescinded. Private corporations appear incapable of protecting the public, and therefore, should not run public utilities. In line with the platform of the Peace and Freedom Party, I urge that Pacific Gas and Electric be placed under public ownership, and run safely for public benefit. -Robert J. Evans

{Robert J. Evans of Alameda County is the Peace and Freedom Party nominee for Attorney General.}
by Ben Dover
Tuesday Sep 21st, 2010 5:35 PM
This ditzy broad is running for Insurance Commissioner and she doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground. I guess she and her video'ing friend must figure that they can get some headlines if they accuse PG&E of negligence. I would look at the contractor who did the sewer work there for culpability. PG&E's buried pipes are ALWAYS on the top and never below a sewer pipe or drainage pipe. Bet you nutjobs didn't know that huh!

She'll be lucky if she gets 20 votes.
by No More Corporate Shills
Sunday Oct 24th, 2010 1:39 PM
This corporate shill is doing damage control for PG&E Bosses. They have harassed PG&E workers who speak out about health and safety and still refuse to allow all PG&E employees to testify about what happened. This is the usual tactic of these corporate crooks. Blame someone else to limit their liability.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/10/23/MN6A1G06RS.DTL
San Bruno blast: 2 PG&E workers not interviewed

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, October 23, 2010
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Lance Iversen / The Chronicle
Two key Pacific Gas and Electric Co. employees on duty the night of the San Bruno pipeline disaster have yet to speak with federal investigators after saying they were too traumatized to be questioned, The Chronicle has learned.

Two key Pacific Gas and Electric Co. employees on duty the night of theSan Bruno pipeline disaster have yet to speak with federal investigators after saying they were too traumatized to be questioned, The Chronicle has learned.

The National Transportation Safety Board wants to talk to the employees about a gas-pressure spike that occurred shortly before the pipeline ruptured Sept. 9 under San Bruno's Crestmoor neighborhood, killing eight people and destroying 37 homes, sources close to the probe said. Investigators are looking into whether the increased pressure contributed to the transmission pipeline's failure.

The safety board, which is leading the probe, said the pressure spike was caused by a power outage at an unmanned terminal in Milpitas, the end point of the 46-mile pipeline that runs through San Bruno.

Both employees had important roles in responding to the outage and in dispatching crews to shut off the flow of gas that fed the San Bruno inferno, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to reveal details of the investigation.

PG&E says crews were dispatched to close manually operated valves 34 minutes after the explosion, an interval that critics have called too long.

In all, it took PG&E one hour and 29 minutes to shut the gas off, the utility says.

Both the employees declined to speak to federal safety board investigators in the week after the disaster, saying they were too traumatized by the incident, sources said.

A safety board spokesman, Peter Knudson, confirmed that the two have declined to be questioned.

"They were not available to us when we were on scene," Knudson said. "I'm not going to characterize why."

Investigators will keep trying to schedule interviews, Knudson said. "We're hoping to have another shot at them," he said.

Workforce available

PG&E spokeswoman Katie Romans said several company employees have spoken with federal investigators, and that the entire company workforce is available to be interviewed.

"We are making everyone available to the NTSB, but not everyone has been interviewed up to this point because of timing and logistical constraints," Romans said.

Knudson would not say what exactly the two PG&E employees' responsibilities were. But he said investigators believe they were either involved in controlling the pipeline system or with the pipeline's power supply.

Knudson said 14 PG&E workers and supervisors involved in control room operations, pipeline monitoring or dealing with the Milpitas power outage have been interviewed. The safety board has the authority to issue subpoenas.

Increased pressure

The safety board says an equipment failure at the Milpitas terminal caused workers to lose control of the pressure in the line just before the blast.

The pressure increased from the normal 375 pounds per square inch to 386 pounds, but was held there by an automatic valve.

Experts said the added pressure was probably not enough by itself to cause the rupture, although it could have pushed a weakened line over the edge.

Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat whose district includes the San Bruno blast site, has pushed for information from PG&E about who was in charge of pipeline operations the night of the disaster.

So far, PG&E officials have refused, citing personnel rules, and have yet to reveal the pipeline supervisors' background or experience levels, she said.

"They are playing their cards close to the vest," she said of PG&E. "They can probably shine me for a little while. But they can't shine the NTSB - at least not forever."

E-mail Jaxon Van Derbeken at jvanderbeken [at] sfchronicle.com.

PG&E worker reveals serious safety problems - IBEW 1245 Worker Speaks Out
http://www.examiner.com/headlines-in-san-francisco/san-bruno-breaking-news-pg-e-worker-reveals-serious-safety-problems
San Bruno Breaking News: PG&E worker reveals serious safety problems
September 14th, 2010 6:05 pm PT

In the aftermath of last Thursday’s devastating explosion in San Bruno, PG&E maintenance and safety records are now under the spotlight. A PG&E employee with insider knowledge regarding the utility company’s safety practices has come forward to shed light on exactly what the illusive company has been doing to keep dangerous pipelines safe. The employee will be telling his story in court, after recently filing a lawsuit against the utility giant, presenting hard evidence demonstrating safety negligence on the part of PG&E.

According to the veteran PG&E worker, safety rules are not followed and violations are often ignored. According to long time PG&E employee, Mike Wiseman, it gets worse. "One of the jokes of my department is, PG&E management puts the safety cap on during safety meetings and takes it off when we all hit the field.” If this is any indication of how seriously PG&E takes public safety, the utility company may come under even further intense fire from critics who also feel the company doesn’t make safety a priority. To the people of San Bruno, there is nothing remotely funny about PG&E’s disregard for public safety.

Wiseman’s statements stand out because of his credentials. He has been with the company for the last ten years, working on gas transmission pipelines, like the one the ruptured in San Bruno. Wiseman filed a lawsuit against PG&E after being harassed for blowing the whistle on the company’s lax policies three weeks ago.

One of Wiseman’s many complaints was that a group of untrained workers were sent into a six foot ditch to do repair work, without training or even a procedural manual. When he complained, his superiors applied pressure. "I had the foreman take the picture of me in front of the ditch, and at the end of the week, we had to submit this to my supervisor. He actually called me in his office and threatened to disciple me over this picture," said Wiseman. The harassment grew stronger as Wiseman refused to give in. He believed that people deserved to know the truth, regardless of mounting pressure from the company trying to silence him.

His attorney in the lawsuit against PG&E, Tony Bothwell, said things went from bad to worse. According to Bothwell, "This is the most extreme, bizarre case of retaliatory harassment that I have ever heard of. Confining him in a hotel in Stockton overnight, demanding that he turn over his car keys or they're going to fire him and then moving his car without his permission, just unbelievable!” The incident describes some of the harassment tactics against Wiseman when he was working with crews up and down the state.

While Wiseman had worked on gas pipelines throughout his career at PG&E, he never worked on the pipeline that exploded in San Bruno. However, Wiseman is leveling charges against the utility giant, saying that the company’s commitment to safety is shoddy at best. Having worked on gas pipelines for a decade, Wiseman is a knowledgeable witness whose expert testimony may create major problems for PG&E even before his case goes to trial.

Wiseman’s public attack of the company has prompted other workers to contact him, described further safety violations the utility company has swept under the rug. Many of these employees are afraid to speak up for fear of job loss and, in some cases, personal safety.

PG&E had this to say regarding Wiseman’s statements. PG&E has "...absolutely no tolerance... for retaliation. Every employee... is expected to stop the work in process and raise his or her concerns if there is an unsafe situation." However, PG&E has gone after those who objected to the company’s safety procedures in the past.

In April of 2000, the labor department declared that PG&E used psychiatrists to unfairly find a veteran manager unfit to do his job, citing “paranoid delusions” as the cause. The manager came under fire when he went public with knowledge about the safety problems at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The Labor Department sided with the former employee.

Wiseman plans on providing a long and detailed list of safety infractions on the part of PG&E in court. In light of the current demand for expensive pipeline inspections and the cost of dealing with San Bruno, the utility company will be hard pressed to financially recover over the next year.
by Nicole
Tuesday Nov 2nd, 2010 9:32 PM
20 votes, huh? Looks like she surpassed your highest hopes. Obviously you're sleeping with PG&E since you are so touched by it. At least Dina is doing something about what she doesn't like, which is not the case for you; hiding behind a computer, talking crap and calling names. You poor thing, get out of your trash filled home, don't believe everything you hear and you might just have a mind of your own.