Pacific Gas and Electric Company | Wikipedia audio article

the Pacific Gas & Electric Company PG & E is an American investor owned utility IOU with publicly traded stock that is headquartered in the Pacific Gas and Electric Building in San Francisco PG&E provides natural gas and electricity to most of the northern two-thirds of California from Bakersfield almost to the Oregon border which represents 5.2 million households PG&E is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission it is the leading subsidiary of the holding company PG&E Corporation which has a market capitalization of thirteen point two seven billion dollars as of 2018 it was founded by George H ro after California's Gold Rush and by 1984 was the United States largest electric utility business PG&E is one of three regulated investor owned utilities IOUs in California the other two are Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy San Diego Gas and Electric topic history you topic early history you you topic San Francisco gas in the 1850s manufactured gas was introduced in the United States as a means of lighting gas works were built in the larger Eastern American cities but there was no gas industry in the West however in San Francisco Street lighting was available only on merchant Street in the form of oil lamps three brothers Peter James and Michael Donahue became interested in gas manufacturing while running the foundry that later became Union ironworks the largest shipbuilding operation on the west coast Joseph G Eastland an engineer and clerk at the foundry joined them in gathering as much information on gas making as they could find in July 1852 James applied for and received from the Common Council of the city of San Francisco a franchise to erect a gas works lay pipes in the streets and install street lamps to light the city with brilliant gas the council specified that gas should be supplied to households at such rates as will make it to their interest to use it in preference to any other material the Donahue brothers in Eastland incorporated the San Francisco gas company on August 31st 1852 with $150,000 of authorized capital the company became the first gas utility in the West it's official seal bore the inscription Fiat Lux let there be light the same slogan later adopted by the University of California there were 11 original stockholders and the three Donahue brothers subscribed for 610 of the 1500 shares the original location for the gas works was bounded by first Fremont Howard and Natomas Street south of market on the then Shore of the San Francisco Bay work on the plant started in November 1852 and it was ready for operation only a few months later on the night of February 11th 1854 the streets of San Francisco were for the first time lighted by gas to celebrate the event the company held a gala banquet at the Oriental Hotel gas lighting quickly gained public favor in the first year of operation there were 237 customers that number more than doubled the next year to 563 by the end of 1855 the company had laid more than six and a half miles of pipe and 154 street lamps were in operation the growing popularity of Gaslight led to the establishment of competing gas companies including AB in patent gas company and citizens gas company these smaller companies were quickly acquired by the San Francisco gas company however one rival provided serious competition the city gas company was founded in April 1870 by the Bank of California to compete with the gas monopoly held by the Donahue brothers operation city gas began operation in 1872 and initiated a price war with the San Francisco gas company in 1873 the companies negotiated their consolidation as a compromise in the Bank of California gained part ownership of the most lucrative gas monopoly in the West on April 1st 1873 the San Francisco Gas Light Company was formed representing a merger of the San Francisco gas company the city gas company and the Metropolitan gas company topic San Francisco Gas and Electric gas utilities including San Francisco Gas Light faced new competition with the introduction of electric lighting to California according to a 2012 PG&E publication and their 1952 commissioned history in 1879 San Francisco was the first city in the u.s.

To have a central generating station for electric customers to stay competitive the San Francisco Gas Light Company introduced the Argand lamp that same year the lamp increased the light capacity of gas street lamps but proved to be an expensive improvement and was not generally adopted meanwhile the demand for electric light in the stores and factories of downtown San Francisco continued to grow the first electric streetlight was erected in 1888 in front of City Hall and the electrical grid supporting was gradually extended a second generating station was constructed in 1888 by the California Electric Light Company to increase production capacity new competition also emerged in the 1880s in the form of water gas and improved illuminant patented by Thaddeus Lowe the United gas improvement company a water gas manufacturer organized after purchasing the low gas patents acquired a lease and then an interest in San Francisco's Central Gas Light Company on November 1st 1883 United was acquired by the Pacific Gas improvement company in 1884 under the management of President Albert Miller Pacific Gas Improvement developed into a formidable competitor to San Francisco Gas Light porous a Miller secretary and Co G Miller Christian Otto Gerber ting Miller president owned and controlled not only the Pacific Gas improvement company but also the Pacific Gas lighting company Pacific lighting company Co G Miller is buried in a pyramid mausoleum at Mountain View Cemetery Oakland California Horace Miller built an enormous mansion in piedmont CA at 445 mountain avenue in 1913 designed by Arthur Brown famous San Francisco architect in 1888 San Francisco Gas Light built its own water gas plant at the Potrero Gas Works the manufacturing of water gas proved successful due to the increased availability of inexpensive petroleum the company decided to construct a modern gas works with both updated water gas manufacturing technology and a modern coal gas plant as a hedge against shortages in the supply of oil in 1891 the North Beach Gas Works was completed under the direction of San Francisco Gas Light president and engineer Joseph B Crockett the facility was the largest gas holder in the u.s.

West of Chicago in 1896 the Edison Light and Power Company merged with the San Francisco Gas Light Company to form the new San Francisco Gas and Electric Company consolidation of gas and electric companies solved problems for both utilities by eliminating competition and producing economic savings through joint operation other companies that began operation as active competitors but eventually merged into the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company included the equitable gas light company the independent Electric Light & Power Company and the independent gas and Power Company in 1903 the company purchased its main competitor for gas lighting the Pacific Gas improvement company topic Pacific Gas & Electric Company according to PG and East when 12 history timeline on their webpage the San Francisco Gas & Electric Company and the California Gas & Electric Corporation merged to form the Pacific Gas & Electric Company PG & E on October 10th 1905 the consolidation provided the California Gas & Electric Corporation with access to the large San Francisco market and a base for further financing the San Francisco Gas & Electric Company in turn was able to reinforce its electric system which until then had been powered entirely by steam operated generating plants and could not compete with lower-cost hydroelectric power after the merger was formally completed engineers and management from both organizations formulated plans for coordinating and unifying the two gas and electric systems however the two firms maintained separate corporate identities until 1911 PG&E began delivering natural gas to San Francisco and Northern California in 1930 through the longest pipeline in the world connecting the Texas gas fields to Northern California with compressor stations that included cooling towers every 300 miles 480 kilometers at topic Arizona on the state line and near the town of Hinkley California with the introduction of natural gas the company began retiring it's polluting gas manufacturing facilities though it kept some plants on standby today there is a network of eight compressor stations linked by 40 thousand miles of distribution pipelines and over six thousand miles of transportation pipelines serving 4.2 million customer from Bakersfield to the Oregon border in the 1950s and 1960s at both topic and Hinckley compressor stations hexavalent chromium in the form of an additive was used in rust prevention in the cooling towers that prepared the gas for transportation through PG and E spy plane to northern and central California these cooling waters were then disposed of adjacent to the compressor stations in 1952 Charles M Coleman who worked for PG and E SPO Blissett II Department completed his book entitled PG&E of California the Centennial story of Pacific Gas & Electric Company 1852 to 1952 topic the 1906 San Francisco earthquake PG&E was significantly affected by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the company's assorted central offices were damaged by the quake and destroyed by the subsequent fire its San Francisco Gas and Electric Company subsidiary in particular suffered significant infrastructure loss as its distribution systems miles of gas mains and electric wires were discovered only to gas and to electric plants all located far from the city survived the destruction these functioning facilities including the new 4 million foot crude oil gas works at Potrero point played critical roles in San Francisco's rebuilding efforts many of PG and E's utility competitors ceased operation following the great earthquake however the company's substantial capital allowed it to survive rebuild and expand topic Sacramento electric gas and railway company in 1906 PG&E purchased the Sacramento electric gas and Railway Company and took control of its railway operations in and around Sacramento the Sacramento City Street Railway began operating under the Pacific Gas and Electric name in 1915 and its track and services subsequently expanded by 1931 the Sacramento Street Railway division operated 75 streetcars on 47 miles 76 kilometers of PG&E streetcars were powered by the company's hydroelectric plant in Folsom in 1943 PG&E sold the rail service to Pacific city lines which was later acquired by national city lines several streetcar lines were soon converted to bus service and the track was abandoned entirely in 1947 during this same period Pacific City lines and its successor National City lines with funding from General Motors Firestone Tire Standard Oil of California through a subsidiary federal engineering Phillips Petroleum and Mack Trucks were buying streetcar lines and rapidly converting most of them to bus service this consortium was convicted in 1949 of federal charges involving conspiracy to monopolize interstate commerce in the sale of buses and supplies to national city lines and its subsidiaries the actions became known as the great American streetcar scandal or the General Motors streetcar conspiracy topic further consolidation and expansion within a few years of its incorporation PG&E made significant inroads into Northern California's hydroelectric industry through purchase of existing water storage and conveyance facilities these included many reservoirs dams ditches and flumes built by mining interests in the Sierras that were no longer commercially viable by 1914 PG&E was the largest integrated utility system on the Pacific coast the company handled 26% of the electric and gas business in California its operations span 37,000 square miles across 30 counties the company expanded in the 1920s through strategic consolidation important acquisitions during this period included the California telephone and Light Company the western states Gas & Electric Company and the Sierra and San Francisco Power Company which provided hydropower to San Francisco streetcars these three companies added valuable properties and power and water sources by the end of 1927 PG&E had nearly 1 million customer and provided electricity to 300 Northern Californian communities in 1930 PG&E purchased majority stock holdings in two major Californian utility systems Great Western power and San Joaquin light and power from the North American company a New York investment firm in return North American received shares of PG and E's common stock worth 114 million dollars PG&E also gained control of two smaller utilities Midland counties public service and the Fresno Water Company which was later sold the acquisition of these utilities did not result in an immediate merger of property and personnel the great Western Power Company and the San Joaquin Company remained separate corporate entities for several more years but through this final major consolidation PG&E soon served nearly all of northern and central California through one integrated system topic natural gas the gas industry market structure was dramatically altered by the discovery of massive natural gas fields throughout the American Southwest beginning in 1918 the fuel was cleaner than manufactured gas and less expensive to produce while natural gas sources were abundant in Southern California no economical sources were available in Northern California in 1929 PG&E constructed a 300 mile pipeline from the Kettleman oil field to bring natural gas to San Francisco the city became the first major urban area to switch from manufactured gas to natural gas the transition required the adjustment of burners and airflow valves on 1.75 million appliances in 1936 PG&E expanded distribution with an additional 45 mile pipeline from Milpitas PG&E gradually retired its gas manufacturing facilities although some plants were kept on standby defense activities boosted natural gas sales in California during World War two but cut deeply into the state's natural reserves in 1947 PG&E entered into a contract with the Southern California gas company and the southern counties gas company to purchase natural gas through a new 1,000 mile pipeline running from Texas in New Mexico to Los Angeles another agreement was reached with the El Paso natural gas company of Texas for gas delivery to the California Arizona border in 1951 PG&E completed a 502 mile main that connected with the El Paso network at the state line during this period of expansion PG&E was involved in legal proceedings with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the company's status as a subsidiary of the North American company as outlined by the public utility Holding Company Act of 1935 a utility subsidiary was defined as a utility company with more than 10% of their stock held by a public utility Holding Company though 17% of PG&E stock was held by the North American company at this time PG&E filed with the SEC to be exempted from subsidiary status on the grounds that 17% ownership did not give the North American company control and because the North American company occupied only two board member spots the North American company backed PG & E's request by stating that they were involved in business operations in a limited capacity the request remained unresolved until 1945 when the North American company sold off stocks that brought its ownership to below 10% the SEC then ruled that PG&E was not a subsidiary of the North American company in 1948 the North American company sold its remaining stock in PG&E topic nuclear plants and gas pipelines in 1957 the company brought online vallecitos nuclear center the first privately owned and operated nuclear reactor in the United States in Pleasanton California the reactor initially produced five thousand kilowatts of power enough to power a town of 12,000 in addition to nuclear power PG&E continued to develop natural gas supplies as well in 1959 the company began working to obtain approval for the import of a large quantity of natural gas from Alberta Canada to California via pipeline constructed by West Coast transmission Co and the Alberta and southern gas company on the Canadian side and by Pacific gas transmission company a subsidiary of PG&E on the US side construction of the pipeline lasted fourteen months testing began in 1961 and the completed 1,400 mile pipeline was dedicated in early 1962 PG&E began construction on another nuclear facility the Diablo Canyon power plant in 1968 originally slated to come online in 1979 the plant's opening was delayed for several years due to environmental protests and concerns over the safety of the plants construction testing of the plant began in 1984 an energy production was brought up to full power in 1985 during the construction of the Diablo Canyon plant PG&E continued its efforts to bring natural gas supplies from the north to their service area in California in 1972 the company began exploring possibilities for a 3,000 mile pipeline from Alaska which would travel through the Mackenzie River Valley and onto join with the previously constructed pipeline originating in Alberta in 1977 the Mackenzie Valley pipeline project received approval from the US federal Power Commission and support from the Carter Administration the pipeline still required approval from Canada however plans for the pipeline were placed on hold in 1977 by a Canadian judge Justice Thomas R burger of British Columbia shelved the project for at least 10 years citing concerns from First Nations groups whose land the pipeline would have traversed as well as potential environmental impacts in 1984 the great-grandson of PG and E standard George H ro David Rowe published his book entitled dynamos and virgins during the time when there was a growing anti-nuclear power movement david rowe who was an environmentalist and the Environmental Defense funds West Coast general counsel mounted an assault on the long-standing assumption that steady growth in coal and nuclear generating capacity was the only solution to the nation's energy needs he based his arguments on an economic analysis aimed at showing that a shift to energy conservation and alternative energy sources alone could slake the thirst for electricity topic postwar era as of december 1992 PG&E operated 173 electric generating units and 85 generating stations eighteen thousand four hundred fifty miles twenty nine thousand six hundred ninety kilometers of transmission lines and 101 thousand four hundred miles 160 three thousand two hundred kilometers of distribution system in 1997 PG&E reorganized as a holding company PG&E corporation it consisted of two subsidiaries PG&E the regulated utility and the non regulated energy business in the later 1990s under electricity market deregulation this utility sold off most of its natural gas power plants the utility retained all of its hydroelectric plants the Diablo Canyon power plant and a few natural gas plants but the large natural gas plants it sold made up a large portion of its generating capacity this had the effect of requiring the utility to buy power from the energy generators at fluctuating prices while being forced to sell the power to consumers at a fixed cost however the market for electricity was dominated by the Enron Corporation which with help from other corporations artificially pushed prices for electricity ever higher this led to the California electricity crisis that began in 2000 on path 15 a transmission corridor PG&E built with a critical power shortage rolling blackouts began on January 17 2001 topic bankruptcy in 1998 a change in the regulation of California's public utilities including PG&E began the California Public Utility Commission CPUC set the rates that PG&E could charge customers and required them to provide as much power as the customers wanted at rates set by the CPUC in the summer of 2001 a drought in the northwest states and in California reduced the amount of hydroelectric power available usually PG&E could buy cheap hydroelectric power under long-term contracts with the Bonneville Dam etc drought and delays in approval of new power plants and market manipulation decreased available electric power generation capacity that could be generated in state or bought under long-term contracts out of state hot weather brought on higher usage rolling blackouts etc with little excess generating capacity of its own PG&E was forced to buy electricity out of state from suppliers without long-term contracts because PG&E had to buy additional electricity to meet demand some suppliers took advantage of this requirement and manipulated the market by creating artificial shortages and charged very high electrical rates the CPUC refused to adjust the allowable electric rates unable to change rates and sell electricity to consumers for what it cost them on the open market PG&E started hemorrhaging cash PG&E company the utility not the holding company entered bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on April 6 2001 the state of California tried to bail out the utility and provide power to PG and E's 5.1 million customers under the same rules that required the state to buy electricity at market rate high cost to meet demand and sell it at lower fixed price and as a result the state also lost significant amounts of money the crisis cost PG&E and the state somewhere between $40 and 45 billion dollars there is some evidence that this crisis played an important part in the eventual recall of California governor Gray Davis PG&E company the utility emerged from bankruptcy in April 2004 after paying ten point two billion dollars to its hundreds of creditors as part of the reorganization PG and YZ 5 point 1 million electricity customers will have to pay above market prices for several years to cancel the debt topic generation portfolio PG and E's utility own generation portfolio consists of an extensive hydroelectric system one operating nuclear power plant one operating natural gas-fired power plant and another gas fired plant under construction to other plants owned by the company have been permanently removed from commercial operation Humboldt Bay unit three nuclear and Hunters Point natural gas topic hydroelectric PG&E is the largest private owner of hydroelectric facilities in the United States including 174 dams according to the company's Form 10-k filing for 2011 the utilities hydroelectric system consists of 110 generating units at 68 powerhouses including the Helms pumped storage facility with a total generating capacity of 3,800 96 megawatts the system includes 99 reservoirs 56 diversions 174 dams 172 miles of canals 43 miles of flumes 130 miles of tunnels 54 miles of pipe penstocks siphons and low head pipes and 5 miles of natural waterways the single largest component as the helms pumped storage plant located at 37° o2 thirteen point seven eight and 118 degrees 57 minutes 53 point six three seconds west near sawmill flat in Fresno County California Helms consists of three units each rated at 404 megawatts for a total output of 1212 megawatts the facility operates between Court right and Wishon reservoirs alternately draining water from court right to produce electricity when demand is high and pumping it back into court right from Wishon when demand is low the huh spices situated more than 1,000 feet 300 meters inside a solid granite mountain topic nuclear the Diablo Canyon power plant located in ávila Beach California is the only operating nuclear asset owned by PG&E the maximum output of this power plant as 2240 MW e provided by two equally sized units as designed and licensed it could be expanded to four units at least doubling its generating capacity over a two-week period in 1981 1908 was the largest arrest in the history of the US anti-nuclear movement in June 2016 PG&E announced plans to close Diablo Canyon in 2025 this would make California free of operating commercial nuclear power plants but will mean the loss of 2256 megawatts of generation that produced over 18,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year the company operated the Humboldt Bay power plant unit 3 in Eureka California it is the oldest commercial nuclear plant in California and its maximum output with 65 MW e the plant operated for 13 years until 1976 when it was shut down for seismic retrofitting new regulations enacted after the Three Mile Island accident however rendered the plant unprofitable and it was never restarted unit 3 is currently in decommissioning phase based on PG and E's schedule of planned decommissioning activities which incorporates various assumptions including approval of its proposed new scope decommissioning of the unit 3 site is expected to conclude in 2019 the spent nuclear fuel is currently stored at the independent spent fuel storage installation is FSI on the plant site because of the United States Department of Energy's failure to find a suitable alternative to storing or disposing of the spent fuel Pacific Gas and Electric plan to build the first commercially viable nuclear power plant in the United States at Bodega Bay a fishing village 50 miles north of San Francisco the proposal was controversy and conflict with local citizens began in 1958 in 1963 there was a large demonstration at the site of the proposed Bodega Bay nuclear power plant the conflict ended in 1964 with the forced abandonment of plans for the power plant topic combustion built in 1956 to natural gas fuel oil units at Humboldt Bay powerplant produce 105 MW e of combined output these units along with 215 MW e mobile emergency power plants MEPs will be retired in the summer of 2010 the Humboldt Bay generating station built on the same site is set to take the older power plants place in the summer of 2010 it will be producing 163 MW e using natural gas for fuel and fuel oil for backup on var silla diesel engines it will employ technology to produce 80% fewer ozone precursors and 30% less co2 than the previous facility the new design will also reduce water use by eliminating the need for once-through cooling as part of a settlement with mirin Services LLC for alleged market manipulations during the 2001 California energy crisis PG and E took ownership of a partially constructed natural gas unit in Antioch California the 530 megawatts unit known as the Gateway generating station was completed by PG&E and placed into operation in 2009 on May 15 2006 after a long and bitter political battle PG&E shut down its 48 year-old Hunters Point power plant in San Francisco at the time of closure the maximum output of the plant was 170 megawatts residents of the impoverished neighborhood had been pushing for more than a decade to close the plant claiming it contributed to above-average rates of asthma and other ailments PG&E broke ground in 2008 on a 660 megawatts natural gas power plant located in Colusa County it began operation in December 2010 and serves nearly half a million residences using the latest technology and Environmental Design the plant will use dry cooling technology to dramatically reduce water usage and cleaner-burning turbines to reduce co2 emissions by 35% relative to older plants topic Solar on April 1st 2008 PG&E announced contracts to buy three new solar power plants in the Mojave Desert with an output of five hundred megawatts and options for another four hundred megawatts the three installations will initially generate enough electricity to power more than 375,000 residences in April 2009 PG and East next 100 blog reported that PG&E was asking the California Public Utilities Commission to approve a project by the company solar end to deliver 200 megawatts of power to California from space this method of obtaining electricity from the Sun eliminates mostly the darkness of night experienced from solar sites on the surface of the earth according to PG&E spokesman Jonathan Marshall energy purchase costs are expected to be similar to other renewable energy contracts topic PG&E and the environment beginning in the mid-1970s regulatory and political developments began to push utilities in California away from a traditional business model in 1976 the California state legislature amended the Warren Alquist Act which created and gives legal authority to the California Energy Commission to effectively prohibit the construction of new nuclear power plants the Environmental Defense Fund EDF filed as an intervener in PG and E 78 general rate case GRC claiming that the company's requests for rate increases were based on unrealistically high projections of load growth furthermore EDF claimed that PG&E could more cost-effectively encourage industrial cogeneration and energy efficiency than build more power plants as a result of EDF s involvement in PG and E's rate cases the company was eventually fined 50 million dollars by the California Public Utilities Commission for failing to adequately implement energy efficiency programs since Darby took control of the PG&E Company in 2004 PG&E has aggressively promoted its environmental image through a variety of programs and campaigns in the early first decade of the 21st century the CEO of PG&E corporation Peter Darby and then CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric Company Tom King publicly announced their support for California assembly bill 32 a measure to cap statewide greenhouse gas emissions and a 25% reduction of emissions by 2020 the bill was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 27 2006 in 2014 PG&E had a renewables mix of 28 percent by 2016 thirty two point nine percent of PG&E spouse or PSA's were renewable PG and East community pipeline Safety Initiative C psi essentially cut down hundreds of thousands of trees in California from Eureka to Bakersfield along their nearly 7,000 miles of gas transmission pipeline PG&E did not conduct the CEQ a review in any of these cities and the total number of trees removed as known only to PG&E during 2017 PG&E announced that 80% of the companies delivered electricity comes from GHG free sources including renewables nuclear and hydro power around 33% comes from renewable sources thus meeting California's goal of 33 percent of electricity coming from renewables by 2020 nearly three years in advance topic disasters topic groundwater contamination in Hinkley California from 1952 to 1966 PG&E dumped roughly 370 million gallons of chromium 6 tainted wastewater into unlined wastewater spreading ponds around the town of Hinkley California PG&E used chromium 6 one of the cheapest and most efficient commercially available at their compressor station plants in their cooling towers along the natural gas transmission pipelines PG&E did not inform the local water board of the contamination until December 7th 1987 stalling action on a response to the contamination the residents of Hinkley filed a successful lawsuit against PG&E in which the company paid 333 million dollars the largest settlement ever paid in a direct action lawsuit in US history the legal case dramatized in the 2000 film Erin Brokovich became an international cause célèbre in response in 2001 at the request of the kalapa the chromate toxicity review committee was formed to investigate the toxicity of chromium 6 when ingested in 2003 a Senate hearing revealed that the committee's members included expert witnesses from PG&E who had influenced the final August 2001 report which found in PG & E's favor concluding that other reports were alarmist with spurious Lehi statistics and that further evaluation should be handled by academics in laboratory settings not by regulators through time the report was recanted but it's setback regulation of chromium 6 for many years in July 2014 California became the first state to acknowledge that ingested chromium 6 is linked to cancer and as a result has established a maximum chromium 6 contaminant level MCL of 10 parts per billion ppb in setting the regulations it was acknowledged that in recent scientific studies in laboratory animals hexavalent chromium has also been linked to cancer when ingested previously when older chromium MCLs were set at the time total chromium MCLs were established in just hexavalent chromium associated with consumption of drinking water was not considered to pose a cancer risk as is now the case by 2013 PG&E had cleaned up 54 acres but it is estimated the remediation process will take another 40 years PG&E built a concrete wall barrier that is about a half mile long to contain the plume pump ethanol into the ground to convert chromium 6 into chromium 3 and have planted acres of alfalfa they created a chicken farm to use the alfalfa PG&E uses irrigation to maintain these large circles of green in the otherwise desert area and was asked to stop because of the ongoing danger of residents inhaling chromium 6 in 2015 the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Lahontan region served PG&E with a new order to clean up sick and abate the effects of the discharge of chromium waste or threatened pollution or nuisance by the time of the report the plume had expanded to 8 miles in length and approximately 2 miles in width throughout the Hinkley Valley and into Harper dry lake valley polluting new areas in early 2016 the New York Times described Hinkley as having been slowly turned into a ghost town due to the contamination of the area with owners unable to see their properties epidemiologist John Morgan produced a 2010 report for the California Cancer Registry in which he argued that there was no cancer cluster in Hinkley related to chromium 6 in one study Morgan had claimed that cancer rates in Hinkley remained unremarkable from 1988 to 2008 saying that the 196 cases of cancer reported during the most recent survey of 1996 through 2008 were less than what he would expect based on demographics in the regional rate of cancer quote in 2013 the Center for Public Integrity found glaring weaknesses in Morgan's 2010 analysis that challenged the validity of his findings quote in his first study he dismisses what others see as a genuine cancer cluster in Hinkley in his latest analysis he excludes people who were exposed to worst contamination topic Sierra blaze on June 19 1997 a Nevada County jury in Nevada City found PG&E guilty of the pattern of tree trimming violations that sparked a devastating 1994 wildfire in the Sierra PG&E was convicted of 739 counts of criminal negligence for failing to trim trees near its powerlines the biggest criminal conviction ever against the state's largest utility topic San Bruno California explosion on the evening of September 9th 2010 a suburb of San Francisco San Bruno California was damaged when one of PG and East natural gas pipelines that was at least 54 years old 30 inches 76.2 centimeters in diameter and located under a Street intersection in a residential area exploded sending a 28 foot section of pipe weighing 3,000 pounds flying through the air fueled by blowing natural gas the blast created a crater at the epicenter and killed eight people and injured nearly five dozen more while destroying about 100 homes the USGS reported that the shockwave was similar to a 1.1 magnitude earthquake following the event the company was heavily criticized for ignoring the warnings of a state inspector in 2009 and for failing to provide adequate safety procedures the incident then came under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board NTSB on August 30th 2011 the NTSB released its findings which placed fault for the blast on PG&E the report stated that the pipeline that exploded installed in 1956 did not even meet standards of that time PG&E was charged with 12 criminal felony counts alleging violations of the natural gas pipeline Safety Act PG&E pleaded not guilty to the criminal counts in both the initial and superseding indictments opting to put the prosecutors to their proof on April 1st 2014 a United States grand jury in San Francisco charged PG and E with knowingly and willfully violating the natural gas pipeline safety act in August 2015 the California Public Utilities Commission levied a three hundred million dollars fine against PG&E which they paid PG&E also refunded four hundred million dollars to gas customers and agreed to pay 850 million dollars for gas system safety improvements it also settled more than five hundred million dollars in claims involving victims of the disaster and their relatives in December 2018 an internal CPUC report concluded that between 2012 and 2017 PG&E failed to locate and Mark gas pipelines in a timely manner because of staff shortages and management counted possibly tens of thousands of late tickets as completed on time contractors rely on this process to know where they can safely dig topic October 2017 northern California wildfires in October of 2017 PG&E was responsible for their own lines and poles starting 12 separate fires of the 250 that devastated Northern California these fires were caused by electric power and distribution lines conductors and the failure of power poles pending further investigation the following fires have been confirmed by cAL FIRE investigators to have been started by PG&E equipment redwood fire Mendocino County sulfur fire in Lake County Cherokee fire Butte County 37 fire Sonoma County blue fire Humboldt County pocket fire Sonoma County atlas fire Napa County Noor bomb Adobe Partrick Pythian and nun's fires of Sonoma and Napa County topic campfire in November 2018 PG&E and its parent company were sued in the San Francisco County Superior Court by multiple victims of the campfire the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history the lawsuit accused PG&E of failure to properly maintain its infrastructure and equipment which the lawsuit claims led to the fire while the cause of the fire is still under investigation PG&E acknowledged that they sent an electric incident report to the California Public Utilities Commission indicating a power failure on a transmission line on November 8th just 15 minutes before the fire was first reported near the same location the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and state utility regulators are investigating PG&E to determine if they complied with state laws in the areas burned in the fire topic controversies topic community pipeline safety initiative cps i in 2014 PG&E rolled out the pipeline pathways project later rebranded community pipeline safety initiative a five hundred million dollars for year effort to clear trees along the almost 7,000 miles of high-pressure gas distribution pipeline in california PG&E said that removing trees was necessary to one provide emergency access should an incident occur under a tree and to protect pipelines from rupturing due to tree roots many communities have protested the removal of private and public trees according to local opposition groups PG and E's safety claims for tree removal are incorrect and tree removal makes aerial monitoring of pipeline faster and cheaper in 2017 several lawsuits have been filed in Contra Costa County court by the nonprofit organization SAV Lafayette trees stating that PG&E did not conduct the proper CQA reviews or provide ample public notice before signing agreements for tree removal topic metcalfe sniper attack on the morning of April 16 2013 a team of gunmen opened fire with rifles on the Metcalf transmission substation in San Jose California severely damaging 17 transformers topic smart meters in the middle of 2010 PG&E rolled out new electronic meters that replaced traditional mechanical electric meters customers whose meters were replaced with smart meters reported seeing their energy bills increase and accused the company of deliberately inflating their bills and questioned the accuracy of the meters subsequently the California Public Utilities Commission conducted an investigation and found that of the 613 smart meter field tests 611 meters were successfully tested and 100% passed average registration accuracy 1 meter was found to have serious errors and was malfunctioning on arrival while another was found to have serious event errors upon installation these meters were therefore excluded from testing there were also complaints that the company did not honor customers requests not to have their mechanical meters replaced although the contractor that installed the meters would honor these requests PG&E would eventually replace them anyway topic proposition 16 in 2010 PG&E was accused of attempting to stifle competition with proposition 16 which mandated approval from two-thirds of voters to start or expand a local utility critics argued that this would make it harder for local governments to create their own power utilities effectively giving PG&E a monopoly the company was also rebuked for supplying 46 million dollars to support the ballot measure when opponents raised $100,000 in the campaign the proposition was voted down with fifty two point five percent in opposition and 47 point five percent in favor topic tax dodging and lobbying in December 2011 the nonpartisan organization public campaign criticized PG&E for spending seventy nine million dollars on lobbying and not paying any taxes during 2008 to 2010 instead getting 1 billion dollars in tax rebates despite making a profit of four point eight billion dollars an increasing executive pay by ninety four percent to eight point five million dollars in 2010 for its top five executives topic restatements On February 28 2002 after the collapse of Enron which used dubious accounting and partnerships to hide its debt PG&E announced to restate results dating back to 1999 to show leases related to power plant construction that had been previously kept off its balance sheet On June 27 2003 PG&E National Energy Group a unit of PG&E corporation revised its 2002 Form 10-k to reclassify certain offsetting revenues and expenses which net to zero PG&E revised its 2002 Form 10-k accordingly to reflect the change topic rates the PG&E and other investor owned utilities that are essentially granted monopoly status in California are guaranteed a negotiated fair rate of return on equity ro PG and E's row rate was set at ten point four percent and a return on rate base RoR was set at eight point zero six percent by the CPUC in December 2012 PG&E electricity rates are among the highest in the United States in his 2013 paper Jonathan Cooke of the UC Davis energy efficiency Center described that unique factors that explain why PG and E's rates are higher than other utilities in California according to cook PG&E procure 60% of its electricity supply from third-party generators and 40% from nuclear fossil fuel and hydroelectric power plants many of the dams that produce PG and E's hydroelectric power were built in the early 1900 and require high maintenance the cost of hydroelectric power maintenance is estimated to rise from 28 million dollars in 2012 to 48 million dollars PG&E current and near-term capital expenditures are dominated by Diablo Canyon and its hydroelectric system operations and maintenance onm expenses are expected to rise especially with new regulations in place after the Fukushima accident PG&E uses less natural gas than its competitors and is expected to experience slower price growth rates particularly if there are high emission allowance prices topic future projects PG&E are also engaged a clean air transportation program a a dialogue on the next century of energy we can do this topic South San Joaquin irrigation district ssj ID in 2009 the California Public Utilities Commission CPUC unanimously approved a resolution that would allow the South San Joaquin irrigation district to purchase PG and E's electric facilities in Manteca Ripon and eschol on in March 2016 San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Carter Holley has rejected PG and E claims that South San Joaquin irrigation district lacks sufficient revenues to provide electrical retail service to the cities of Manteca Ripon and eschol on and surrounding farms the municipal service review MSR found that ssj IDs customer rates would be fifteen percent lower than PG&E rates topics see also rayker ACT grid-tied electrical system Southern California Edison Diablo Canyon powerplant San Diego Gas and Electric Erin Brokovich film list of articles associated with nuclear issues in California

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