Posts Tagged ‘CPUC’

Our PG&E Energy Monopoly Attempted Suicide Last Night – KABOOM at Beale and Mission HQ – Call Before You Dig, PG&E!

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Ah let’s review.

– Remember when a mid-level PG&E employee* threatened me at an event sponsored by the Presidio Trust, told me that I should take one of my PG&E-related posts down because, I was done told, “It would be your interest to take that post down?” And I was like, well what does that mean? Oh that’s right, Gentle Reader, you don’t remember, but I do. Strike One. 

– And remember when PG&E killed eight people near SFO last year? Strike Two.

– And remember when Mayor Ed Lee* recently started going on about how “City Family” member PG&E is a great local company who gets it?” Strike Three.

Oh well.

Now, here’s the scene last night at 7:00 PM as I was swinging by the FiDi to pick up my special lady friend at an area law firm. Workers were just setting up the cones. And then a paramedic was telling me, “This one isn’t PG&E’s fault – somebody was digging.” Well yeah, but that somebody was PG&E itself:

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Isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think?

Oh, and this was all right in front of Pacific Gas & Electric Building, one of San Francisco’s tallest, you know, at 77 Beale:

“The Pacific Gas & Electric Building is a 150 m (490 ft) skyscraper located at 77 Beale and Mission streets in the financial district of San FranciscoCalifornia. Completed in 1971, the 34 story building is headquarters for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the main utility provider for Northern California, and has been host to a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons since 1987. List of tallest buildings in San Francisco

Isn’t it ironic again, dont’cha think?

Hey, PG&E, why don’t you eat your own dog food and CALL BEFORE YOUR DIG?

Via Daedrius

The easy-to-remember phone number is 811, you remember?

In short, I just can’t believe how much you suck, PG&E.

Straighten up and fly right PG&E.

*A member of San Francisco’s dominant political faction (aka Downtown) along with fellow members Willie Brown, Chamber of Commerce, Gavin Newsom, real estate interests, PG&E, and you know, all those non-profits, among others.

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: PG&E San Bruno Blast Hearing Supports His Lawsuit – Plus Rob Reiner Hearts Dennis

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Here’s the news of the day from City Attorney Dennis Herrera:

“Herrera says NTSB hearing on San Bruno blast offers ‘devastating indictment’ against PG&E, regulators – Findings strongly support Herrera’s July 14 notice of intent to sue CPUC, PHMSA regulators

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 30, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera has issued the following statement in reaction to today’s National Transportation Safety Board meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss and adopt the pipeline Accident Report relating to the natural gas pipeline explosion and fire that occurred in San Bruno, Calif. on September 9, 2010.

“NTSB’s report offers a devastating indictment, not just against PG&E, but also the California Public Utilities Commission and federal regulators for their failure to reasonably enforce safety standards,” Herrera said. “These conclusions point to the lax regulation that has enabled PG&E to flout regulations and safe gas pipeline operating practices for decades. NTSB’s report thoroughly supports my office’s allegations in my notice of intent to sue and in our comments to the CPUC. It makes clear that both agencies have a great deal of work to do to better regulate gas transmission pipelines and protect public safety. I commend the NTSB staff for its thorough investigation and comprehensive findings, and NTSB members for unflinchingly adopting the staff’s recommendations.”

More than half of the recommendations adopted by the NTSB today are directed at government entities — including CPUC, DOT, PHMSA, and the Governor of California. NTSB has indicated its intent to publish its synopsis of findings, probable cause, and recommendations at the following URL following today’s meeting: 

http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2011/san_bruno_ca/index.html

On July 14, 2011, Herrera took the first step toward suing the California Public Utilities Commission and federal regulators for not reasonably enforcing gas pipeline safety standards as required by the federal Pipeline Safety Act. The notice of intent to sue is a legally-required precursor to civil litigation by San Francisco, which will seek a federal court order to compel the CPUC and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to enforce federal pipeline safety standards in an effective manner.

PG&E runs three major gas transmission lines — including the very same line that failed catastrophically in San Bruno last year, and another that dates back to the 1930s — under nine high-population-density neighborhoods in San Francisco where hundreds of thousands of people live and work, according to Herrera’s 14-page letter. Major facilities threatened by the failure of these inadequately inspected transmission lines include numerous schools and recreation centers, San Francisco City College, and San Francisco General Hospital, which typically contains more than 5,000 acute care patients and visitors, medical professionals and staff. Significant stretches of Highway 101 and Highway 280 additionally run over the antiquated lines.

Herrera’s July 14, 2011 notice letter outlines San Francisco’s prospective legal action, detailing the manner in which CPUC and PHMSA: (1) failed to enforce federal regulations mandating that pipeline operators maintain adequate records to enable the operator and regulators to ensure that pipeline conditions are not a threat to public safety; (2) failed to enforce federal regulations requiring that gas transmission pipeline operators identify all “high consequence areas” in which pipeline failure would result in significant harm to people and damage to property; (3) failed to enforce federal regulations mandating inspections of gas transmission pipeline integrity for pipelines susceptible to manufacturing and construction defects or other risks; (4) failed to ensure that CPUC had staff sufficient in number, training, and experience to adequately fulfill its obligations to regulate and enforce pipeline safety regulations; (5) failed to ensure that integrity management inspections of gas transmission pipelines in California are performed with sufficient frequency and thoroughness to ensure pipeline safety; and (6) failed to require PG&E to correct violations found in audits of PG&E’s integrity management practices.”

Man, that PG&E has issues, huh?

In lighter news, Rob Reiner explicates his ardor for Dennis Jose:

“I’ve been active in statewide politics for decades.  I chaired the Prop 10 campaign in the 1990s to create the groundbreaking “First 5 California” program, which delivers critical services to millions of children from birth to age 5. I took on big developers to save our state parks and wildlife.  And I fought big tobacco to protect public health, and to reduce its influence in Hollywood.

But it was as co-founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights—which initiated the federal legal challenge to Prop 8 that eliminated marriage equality in California—that I had the opportunity to work closely with San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

And that’s why I’m endorsing Dennis Herrera for Mayor of San Francisco.

Not all San Franciscans fully appreciate the extent to which California looks to their city for strong, progressive leadership on issues that make a real difference in people’s lives—like civil rights, the environment and consumer protection. But we do. 

That’s why what’s at stake in the 2011 San Francisco Mayor’s race is so important to all Californians.  Dennis has a serious plan to create jobs and make San Francisco a model of a 21st century city.  His proven record of leadership and professionalism is best suited to continue San Francisco’s honored tradition as a beacon of innovation and progress.

Will you join me in supporting Dennis Herrera by making a donation of $10, $35 or $100 today?

Dennis Herrera filed the first government lawsuit in American history to challenge state marriage laws that discriminate against lesbian and gay couples. His principled advocacy for the broad societal imperative of ending any-LGBT discrimination continues to make a persuasive difference in the courts in our fight for marriage equality.

A strong advocate for early childhood services, Dennis shares my conviction that government can and should do more to support schools, children, parents and teachers. And his record of accomplishment on consumer protection, the environment and public integrity is unmatched

Dennis has the best plan to make San Francisco a model 21st century city—and to continue San Francisco’s tradition as a beacon of innovation and progress.

I believe that Dennis is the right choice for San Francisco. Will you help him become San Francisco’s next Mayor by making a donation of $10, $35 or $100 today?

Thank you so much for your support of Dennis.

Best,

Rob Reiner

P.S. There are only 70 days left until the election and every dollar makes a difference, can you chip in and donate $10, $35 or $100 today?

Only 70 days?

Wow.

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Acts to Sue CPUC and Feds Over Failure to Enforce Gas Pipeline Safety Standards

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

City Attorney Dennis Herrera is all over last year’s gas transmission explosion in San Bruno.

All the deets.

The first of a series of photos of the San Bruno aftermath from photographer David Yu

Just released:

Herrera moves to sue CPUC, feds for failing to enforce gas pipeline safety standards

Revelations from San Bruno tragedy lead San Francisco to seek federal court order compelling regulators to strictly enforce U.S. safety standards

SAN FRANCISCO (July 14, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera has taken the first step toward suing the California Public Utilities Commission and federal regulators for their failure to reasonably enforce federal gas pipeline safety standards as required by the Pipeline Safety Act. The notice of intent to sue Herrera delivered late today is a legally-required precursor to civil litigation by San Francisco, which will seek a federal court order to compel the CPUC and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to enforce federal pipeline safety standards in an effective manner.

Herrera’s move comes in the wake of increasingly troubling revelations in news accounts and last month’s sharply critical report by an independent review panel investigating the deadly explosion of a PG&E gas transmission line in San Bruno, Calif. on Sept. 9, 2010, which resulted in the loss of eight lives and the destruction of 38 homes. That investigation report concluded that CPUC’s “culture serves as an impediment to effective regulation,” and went on to fault regulators who “did not have the resources to monitor PG&E’s performance in pipeline integrity management adequately or the organizational focus that would have elevated concerns about PG&E’s performance in a meaningful way.” The City Attorney’s Office will file its comments on that investigation report with the CPUC tomorrow.

Continued after the jump

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A Small Protest Against Nuclear Power at the CPUC: PG&E’s Diablo Canyon and Earthquakes, Lundberg vs. Lomborg

Friday, April 15th, 2011

This was the scene yesterday AM at the CPUC building near McAllister and Van Ness.

Now, Jan Lundberg thinks we should shut down our nuclear panner plants, especially the ones near fault lines.

Bjørn Lomborg disagrees.

And there you have it:

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Oh, Thank Goodness PG&E and the CPUC Will Let Me Pay to Opt Out of Getting a SmartMeter – Hurray!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Now, one of these electricity meters four stories down is mine,* so of course I was extremely worried about the coming SmartMeter invasion.*

But now that I know that I can opt out of SmartMeters, I’m planning on spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to keep my old meter* (or get a new non-wireless meter, whatever.)

Can you imagine? I’ll certainly sleep better at night* knowing that I’ve played a role in reducing the non-ionizing radiation coming from the garage downstairs by about 2% during the few minutes a day that SmartMeters emit anything at all!

That means I’ll have more time to fret about all the other radiation sources what are killing me.

Hurray!*

*Not really

Decommissioning of Our Shut-Down Potrero Power Plant Starts Tomorrow, March 1, 2011 – Whither the Iconic Tower?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Today, the old girl is sitting around waiting for the order to fire up to make you some electricity, should the need arise.

But tomorrow? Not so much. All the deets.

As I’ll remember her, chugging away heating up Warm Water Cove. Circa aught-seven:

And as she looks today, in front of the historic Sugar House (which is now a cleaned-up DHL warehouse). No more steam:

Good-bye, PPP.

The Cooling of Warm Water Cove – Lawyers Have Decided, So Our Potrero Power Plant Will Go Dark March 1, 2011

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Well, that’s it, after midnight on February 28th, 2011, Mirant (aka GenOn*) will no longer be contrackually obligated to have our iconic Potrero Power Station (aka Potrero Generating Station) standing by ready to power your hair dryer and charge up your sex toys and whatnot.

How Soon Is Now? Pretty soon.

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Has Warm Water Cove cooled down yet? Most likely, since Mirant’s not heating it up anymore. From back in the day:

All the deets:

Potrero reliability must-run agreement (ER11-2218)

On November 30, 2010, Mirant, now known as GenOn, filed revisions to its reliability must run agreement for the Potrero power plant for the 2011 contract year. The agreement includes a new provision that allows the ISO to provide notice of termination during the contract year. All of the terms and conditions were negotiated and agreed to among the affected entities, which include Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the CPUC in addition to GenOn and the ISO. By letter dated December 21, 2010, the ISO provided GenOn with notice of termination effective January 1, 2011. Pursuant to the amendments, the termination of the agreement will be effective as of midnight of February 28, 2011. On January 19, 2011, FERC issued an order accepting the reliability must-run amendments. On January 25, 2011, GenOn filed notice of cancellation of its reliability must-run rate schedule effective February 28, 2011. Responsible attorney: Sidney Davies

*As fine a Michael Crichton made-up evil corporation name that you could hope for…

Nice Little Protest at the California Public Utilities Commission Foundation Last Night Marred By the SmartMeter People

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I don’t know, seems as if PG&E’s cozy relationship with the CA PUC would be the focus of any protest out in front of Clint Reilly’s building at 465 California Street last night, but the anti-SmartMeter people seemed to dominate.

Oh well.

Anyway, take it away, ABC7 KGO-TV’s Heather Ishimaru:

Pipeline safety is a top priority for two new public utilities commissioners and on Thursday afternoon, they promised change, but in the evening they sat down at a swanky dinner party with the very utilities they’re supposed to be regulating”.

The cops and the passersby and the SM people on California last night:

San Bruno Patch has all the deets.

But there was at least one guy out there who didn’t give a flying foxtrot about non-ionizing radiation:

“CPUC DOES NOT NEED CHARITY IT NEEDS TO DO ITS JOB”

Indeed.

This is ought to be fish in a barrel time…

PG&E Announces “Pipeline 2020,” A Five-Part Plan to Increase Safety of Natural Gas Transmission System

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

I don’t know, PG&E, this whole “Pipeline 2020” initiative sounds like a job description for any entity that specializes in “ultra-hazardous activities,” you know, stuff like moving natural gas around.

But I guess you are saying that this will be a ten-year process. That’s my only take-away from your press release today. (Am I missing something? Were you going “well beyond regulatory requirements” back  before San Bruno as well? I mean, you and the CPUC are 100% responsible collectively – maybe there should be changes with how the CPUC deals with you as well? And you talk about “best practices?” What was your policy before? “Good enough practices,” perhaps? And who is going to pay for PL2020? The ratepayers, primarily?)

Anyway, let’s get started on this process then. Sounds like it’ll be a long road.  

A shot from the San Bruno aftermath from photographer David Yu:

PG&E Announces Pipeline 2020 Program for Enhancing Natural Gas Pipeline Safety and Reliability

PG&E Aims to Advance Industry Best Practices

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 12 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced Pipeline 2020, a program with five areas of focus to strengthen the utility’s natural gas transmission system through a combination of targeted investments, research and development, improved processes and procedures, and tighter coordination with public agencies. Going well beyond regulatory requirements, Pipeline 2020 will augment a series of safety and reliability initiatives that PG&E began or expanded in the wake of last month’s San Bruno tragedy.

“Pipeline 2020 will guide PG&E in fulfilling our pledge to customers and the public to ensure the safety and integrity of our gas transmission system,” said Chris Johns, President, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “PG&E will collaborate with state and federal regulators, industry and scientific experts, and local agencies to enhance our ongoing efforts to adopt industry best practices, invest in system upgrades and, where possible, advance the state of the art of gas pipeline inspection procedures and technology. Pipeline 2020 represents a substantial and long-term commitment of people and resources to restore confidence and trust in PG&E’s gas transmission system.”

The “five major areas” of PL2020, after the jump

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PG&E and Salvation Army Announce TEAF Hardship Program to Pay Your Utility Bill – Act Before September 21

Friday, August 20th, 2010

If you qualify for PG&E’s Temporary Energy Assistance for Families program and you apply in time, you can get your gas and electric bill paid courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – that’s the news of the day.

I’ll note that this joint will get pro-rated if you have non U.S. Citizens in your household only applies to households made up of 100% American citizens. So, if anybody in your crew is a resident alien or is document-challenged, then no TEAF for you. The skivvy:

“Multinational households may still be eligible for program benefits at a pro-rated amount. Customers who have at least one U.S. citizen residing in the home are encouraged to complete the application.”

All the deets:

“PG&E Sponsors New Energy Assistance Program for Customers in Need

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 20 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced a new energy assistance program designed to help families in need.

The initiative, known as Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF), is a one-time payment program sponsored by PG&E and administered by The Salvation Army. This program, authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), along with PG&E customers, will provide up to $1,500 to income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship.

“We know that in today’s difficult economic times, some of our customers may need extra help with their bills,” said Albert F. Torres, vice president of customer operations at PG&E. “We believe this new program provides the perfect opportunity to give our customers additional support during their time of need.”

Customers interested in the program are encouraged to contact The Salvation Army for program details and eligibility guidelines, or they can apply at 1-800-933-9677. They can also visit www.pge.com/TEAF. Applications for assistance will be accepted until September 21, 2010.

In addition to the TEAF program, PG&E offers a host of other programs to assist customers. PG&E’s Breathe Easy Solutions(TM) help customers manage their energy costs when life brings financial challenges or unexpected changes. Additional details, as well as eligibility requirements and enrollment instructions, can be found at: http://www.pge.com/myhome/customerservice/financialassistance/.

Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF)

TEAF

We can help with your energy bill. You may be eligible for a one-time bill payment up to $1,500.

At PG&E, we are dedicated to assisting customers through numerous programs and community outreach projects. We’ll help you manage your energy costs, which can be helpful when there are financial challenges or unexpected changes in your situation. Together, we can find solutions.

Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF) is a one-time payment program sponsored by PG&E and administered by The Salvation Army. This program, authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and made possible with partial funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), helps income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship. Federal rules apply in determining eligibility in this financial assistance. Applications will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis until program funds are depleted or until September 21, 2010.

NOTE: If you have received a 48-hour shut off notice, please call The Salvation Army at 1-800-933-9677

Program Guidelines

  1. The PG&E bill must be in your name.
  2. You must be a parent, guardian, or non-custodial parent of a child under 18 years old.
  3. You must provide copies of the following documents:
    • Your current PG&E bill with a past due amount.
    • Your current photo identification card.
    • Documents* verifying U.S. legal citizenship for each member in your household.
    • Documents** verifying that your total household income meets the income guidelines below.

*Examples of U.S. citizenship documentation: U.S. birth certificate, U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, or U.S. passport (first two inside pages).

**Examples of income documentation: Paycheck stubs; an unemployment insurance benefit award letter or check stub; proof of public assistance (i.e. CalWORKs); Supplemental Security Income (SSI) award letter or check stub; State Disability Insurance (SDI) award letter or check stub; current bank statement showing income deposits; or copy of your 2009 federal income tax return.

Income Eligibility Chart 

Number of persons in Household Annual Income
1 $21,660
2 $29,140
3 $36,620
4 $44,100
5 $51,580
6 $59,060
For each additional person, add: $7,480

Application

The federal government has established program guidelines and PG&E customers who meet these guidelines may be eligible. If you meet the requirements, download an application and mail it to the address below.

TEAF application (PDF, 1.1 MB) (English and Spanish)

All applications are being reviewed by The Salvation Army. Once your application has been processed, The Salvation Army will notify you with a confirmation letter. Mail your application with all documentation to:

The Salvation Army
TEAF Program
P.O. Box 193465
San Francisco, CA 94119-3465
Tel. 1-800-933-9677

We encourage you to share this information with relatives, friends, or neighbors who may also qualify. Together, we can find solutions.