PG&E OK'd to Boost Pressure on Pipelines

PG&E given green light to increase pipeline pressure.

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    PG&E can raise the pressure on its natural gas pipelines.

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company can go ahead with boosting the operating pressure on three of its natural gas pipelines, regulators ruled on Thursday.

    PG&E has been under severe scrutiny since a pressure spike caused a pipe in San Bruno to explode in September 2010, killing eight people and destroying dozens of houses.

    Three pipelines since then have been operating at reduce pressure by order of regulators from the California Public Utilities Commission. On Thursday, that commission said pressure could be increased, according to reports.

    The company told regulators that the lines in question -- one running from Milpitas to near San Francisco International Airport, and two others than connect to the pipeline that exploded -- have been subjected to many tests and are safe.

    PG&E must raise pressure to meet utility customers' winter-time demands, according to reports.