Posted by Better use the $ to provide supervision, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm
Public Utilities are supposed to be regulated by the PUC, who are not noted for doing a good job of that. Rather than take the money from the fines to do what PG&E was supposed to be doing all along, let's see if it can be used to pay for INDEPENDENT safety and fire protection SUPERVISION and INSPECTION of PG&E.
I suggest it be under the State Fire Marshal's Office.
Longshot: Maybe that will prevent such from happening again, and change their attitude.
PG&E has also taken specific additional funds that they collected (permitted by the PUC) to do tree trimming for fire protection for electric wiring for other purposes, including to reward their executives.
So far, the California PUC has never had the political desire to regulate.
They do as little as possible, as secretly as they can, and the power companies and utilities know it.
For example, the PUC also let BART build underground stations in Oakland without fire protection; and the Bay and Orinda tunnels without adequate smoke ventilation. When BART was asked to use fire retardant interiors on the trains BARD told the Fire services that they were not subject to city, or local jurisdiction, and would do as they pleased. Then the Bay Tunnel train fire killed an Oakland firefighter and injured many people. The plastic and aluminum train cars burned completely away, to the bottom of the window openings.
After the fire, Oakland Fire Chief Wm. Moore declared the Bay Tunnel a fire hazard, and ordered it shut down. It remained closed for over three months, until BART promised to fix some of the problems. It took them years to replace all the highly flammable interiors of the cars.