PG&E, the merry folks who recently blew up a quiet residential neighborhood in San Bruno, California have, for years, like public utilities everywhere, requested money from state regulators for repairs and maintenance on infrastructure in the form of rate increases.
We’re not talking small change here, regulators have agreed to provide hundreds of millions in funds through rate increases for tree trimming, inspection, replacement and repair of pipelines and a myriad of other necessary tasks in the interest of public safety.
So what’s the problem? They take the money and don’t perform the work. The state’s PUC regulators approve the funds, the customers pay the rate increases but PG&E has been using the funds for other purposes like, well, executive bonuses, for one. (more…)