PG&E Bonuses Spark Protest

Bonuses would be tied to fines if Hill's bill passes.

Monday, May 14, 2012  |  Updated 2:36 PM PDT
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PG&E Bonuses Spark Protest

Assemblyman Jerry Hill held a news conference outside PG&E's annual shareholders' meeting in San Francisco to discuss legislation that could change the way the utility's executives are paid bonuses.   

Hill -- whose district includes San Mateo and San Bruno - claims that former PG&E CEO Peter Darbee retired in 2011 with a $39 million bonus, just months after a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, killing eight people and destroying dozens of homes.   

The California Public Utilities Commission has levied more than $50 million in fines against PG&E for safety violations that led to the blast, according to Hill's office.   

Hill's proposed legislation would require PG&E's top executives - about 25 directors and executive officers -- to return the difference between bonuses received and fines the utility had to pay for violations while under their management.   

The bill would also raise the penalty limit for executive violations from $20,000 to $1 million, and prohibit ratepayer money from being used to pay for executive incentives based on corporate earnings or share price.
   

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