PG&E Wants Customers to Finance New Gas Pipeline

Energy utility wants to ship natural gas across Pacific, pipe it down from Oregon

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009  |  Updated 12:50 PM PDT
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PG&E Wants Customers to Finance New Gas Pipeline

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PG&E wants to cut a swath dozens of yards wide and hundreds of miles long through Oregon and California to pump more foreign fossil fuels to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pacific Gas and Electric made headlines when it resigned from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because that business organization was skeptical of the science of climate change.

And in advertisements and press releases, it touts its dedication to building renewable energy resources -- even though it's a long, long way away from meeting the state's requirement that 20 percent of its energy come from renewable sources next year.

But it in the latest example that puts to lie all those green washing efforts to convince the public that it isn't a voracious consumer of dwindling stocks of petrochemicals and a wanton polluter, it has just won federal approval for a project to import liquid natural gas, even though the stuff is abundant right here in the United States.

And besides the environmental costs of shipping the volatile, combustible fossil fuel across the Pacific in tankers, it also wants to clear cut a highway-sized swath for a pipeline from Coos Bay, Oregon to the San Francisco Bay Area, crossing over 100 waterways in the process.

The project is expected to cost $2.3 billion, financed by ratepayers, with PG&E claiming that it will help stabilize energy prices -- the very same energy prices that will be going up for customers who use the least, and down for customers who use the most.

Jackson West honestly can't believe the nerve of PG&E sometimes.

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