PG&E: We're Not To Blame for San Bruno Blast

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NTSB
    PG&E says it's not responsible for the Sept. 9 disaster in which a PG&E natural gas pipeline ruptured, killing eight people and destroying a San Bruno neighborhood.

    Somebody's surely responsible for the fatal San Bruno pipeline explosion and fire, in which a PG&E natural gas pipeline burst into an enormous fireball, destroying dozens of homes and killing eight people.

    Someone's responsible, it's just not PG&E. Take PG&E's word for it.

    California's utility giant says it's blameless for the Sept. 9, 2010 disaster, according to paperwork PG&E filed in June, the San Francisco Examiner reported. Despite earlier reports that linked a spike in gas-line pressure to the ensuring explosion -- and information that a faulty weld existed on the fatal pipe -- PG&E says the pressure spike would not have damaged the pipe, the newspaper reported.

    This defense counters information filed by the city of San Bruno and safety officials with the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees PG&E. Both the city and the CPUC pointed out PG&E's poor record-keeping practices -- many records of pipeline inspections are still MIA -- as well as the fact that PG&E was not able to turn off the flow of gas to the ruptured pipe for an hour and a half on Sept. 9, thereby ensuring that the Crestmoor neighborhood would be consumed by flame.

    "This is why we have regulatory agencies," said Mindy Spatt, a spokeswoman for The Utility Reform Network, "because it's predictable that PG&E would say, 'Not our fault.' "

    The federal government is expected to release its own report on what caused the blast at the end of the month.