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Pipeline explosion: Speier urges governor to remove leader of San Bruno investigation

Original post made on Jan 28, 2012

Days after the California Public Utilities Commission president appointed himself to lead the determination of whether PG&E will be fined for the deadly 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, a second elected official has issued a letter to the governor urging him to make a new appointment.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 27, 2012, 3:34 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by California-Is-Broken, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2012 at 9:50 am

> Hill called Peevey's self-appointment "a slap in the face"
> to the people of San Bruno.

Any more so that having a Legislature that has never provided adequate funding for auditors to review every State agency, including the CPUC?

If Mr. Peevey's being on this San Bruno investigation is such an insult, why isn't Hill calling for his removal from the CPUC, and possibly his being changed for some "crime of omission" by the State Attorney?

> Speier wrote to Brown that Florio does not have a
> conflict of interest "or historical cozy relationship with PG&E."

> In her letter, Speier writes, "I base my objection on the
> National Transportation Safety Board findings that the CPUC,
> under Mr. Peevey's presidency, was,
> in part, to blame for the litany of errors that led to the
> pipeline rupture."

What is Mr. Peevey's history? His biography, found on the PUC web-site, provides a thumbnail view of his history, and qualifications, for being on the PUC--

Web Link

Mr. Peevey holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is married to Carol J. Liu, who served three terms representing the 44th Assembly District (La Canada Flintridge) in the California legislature and in November 2008 was elected to the California Senate to represent the 21st Senate District.
---
Mr. Peevey was the President Edison International and Southern California Electric. If he developed a "cozy relationship" with PG&E in that role, Ms. Speier provides no proof.

How in the world can anyone he qualified to sit on a regulatory board that does not know anything about the industry being regulated? And to know anything about an industry means having worked in that industry. Ms. Speier seems to want to "convict" Mr. Peevey just for having worked in the energy sector, and having been successful enough to have arisen to a senior management position.

What is interesting though, is that Mr. Peevey is married to a State Legislator. Maybe Speier should be calling for laws that ban the spouses of Legislators from holding important positions in state government.

The following links point to the NTSB reports and statements about its investigation:

PIPELINE ACCIDENT REPORT: PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINE RUPTURE AND FIRE, SAN BRUNO, CA, SEPTEMBER 9, 2010:
Web Link

Pacific Gas and Electric Company Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Rupture and Fire/San Bruno, California:
Web Link


And the short version from the Orange County Register—

OCR Article on 2010 NTSB San Bruno Investigation:
Web Link

The Wiki-page on Jackie Speier:

Web Link

states that she was in the California Legislature and Senate for many years. Maybe it's time to examine her record when it comes to CPUC legislative oversight, and funding of the State Auditor's Office. In all likelihood, we'll find that Ms. Speier was not overly interested in CPUC management, mission, or results at the time. It's a little more than hypocritical that she would be doing little more than grandstanding at this time.

This situation is clearly messy. The pipe that burst was installed in the mid-1950s, so long ago that the current "players" were only children. It's a real shame that we have in Jerry Hill and Jackie Speier two politicians the seem capable of doing little more than slinging mud and trying to divert the blame to one person who, as CPUC Chair, had little power to do anything more than he did.

The CPUC clearly needs change. Where the clarity of thought will come from to initiate that change is an open question.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

Your criticism of Jackie Speier is more based on innuendo and insults than Speier's criticism of Peevey is Peevy your friend seeing as how you posted this long diatribe at the same time as the article was posted ?

Just based on this article I'd say Peevey has no business being on this commission if it was his action or inaction or even people that he knows and might want to protect that might be responsible for leading to the San Bruno explosion.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:15 am

> Pipeline explosion: Speier urges governor to remove leader of San Bruno investigation
Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, 22 minutes ago

> Posted by California-Is-Broken, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, 22 minutes ago
> Hill called Peevey's self-appointment "a slap in the face"

Are "Editor" and "California-Is-Broken" the same person by any chance ? Is this good editorial policy to post an article and then follow up with ideas based on the article in a pseudonym?

How often does it happen here on PaloAltoOnline ??


Posted by California-Is-Broken, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

> Your criticism of Jackie Speier is more based on innuendo
> and insults than Speier's criticism of Peevey

And what are Speier's criticisms of Peevey based on?


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Without taking sides on the issue, I believe that criticisms of this depth should be signed.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2012 at 12:46 am

California-Is-Broken no answers eh? What is your relationship with Mr. Peevey? How is it that you happened to be ready to post a very long semi-researched post at the moment the editor posted this story? Obviously you either are or know the editor who posted this, no? And so the story was for you to post the comment?

I would guess that Speier's criticisms would be based on the "instutional insider", ie. the implication from what was posted seemed to be - "conflict of interest "or historical cozy relationship with PG&E".

>> From 1995 until 2000, Mr. Peevey was President of NewEnergy Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Peevey was President of Edison International and Southern California Edison Company, and a senior executive there beginning in 1984.

From your link sounds like an energy industry insider I don't know if that is necessarily bad but it could be a conflict, or perhaps his wife being in politics is?

You know you can email or contact Speier's office and pose the question to her or her staff - end then report back with the answer?


Posted by California-Is-Broken, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2012 at 10:12 am

> What is your relationship with Mr. Peevey?

Don't know him, or anyone on the CPUC.

> How is it that you happened to be ready to post a very
> long semi-researched post at the moment the editor
> posted this story

Anyone who has lived in California for any period of time, and has a reasonable memory, and who thinks critically, has probably mulled over the problems facing California. The CPUC is usually involved in issues involving telecommunications, as well as energy--so it's not hard to have spent time considering the CPUC, and its role in the California economy.

Moreover, this incident occurred months ago--giving anyone time to look through all of the reports/reporting that it generated.

> Obviously you either are or know the editor who posted this, no?

Do not know the editor.

> semi-researched ..

Google has changed the way people access information. As it turns out, the NTSB did a very good job of investigating this incident. It's not hard to find numerous references to the NTSB report, and the executive summary. It does take some time to read through all of the material, but it's easily, and readily available.

The prep time for this posting was barely 20 minutes. Given that most people don't like to read long postings, it was trimmed down to provide links to material that was generated by non-controversial sources, and was not opinion-based, but fact-based.

> NTSB report

Hope you read it.

> CPUC

It's hard not to come to the conclusion that the CPUC needs serious reform. It would not bother me if the Governor disbanded it, or replaced all of the current commissioners.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

If you think I believe you could have found and read this article and then written your intital post in less than a minute, having to find and arrange all your links - I would have to believe 100% that must be a false statement.

If you are being untruthful about that, I have to say I do not hold much store in anything else you say.


Posted by California-Is-Broken, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

> and then written your intital post in less than a minute

The report has been out for quite a while.

What was written, and you failed to comprehend, is that this posting was pulled together in about 20 minutes. The posting mostly was links to government documents, such as Peevey's Bio, and the NTSB report.

There was no claim that all of this material was read in a minute, or twenty minutes.

> don't believe

Rather than trolling on web-sites like this one, have you ever considered spending your time in a remedial reading class?


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm

> California-Is-Broken

Your comment and this article's publication timestamp are virtually simultaneous - at Jan 28, 2012 at 9:50 am. Maybe you should quit thinking about clever quips and come up with a real explanation as to why that is if you are not the editor and did not know about this article before it was published. You saw the article, read the article and then posted that pointed response all in under a minute how is that?


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