The Other Anniversary This Weekend
While all eyes point to NYC, DC, and PA for Sunday’s 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, overlooked in all of the media frenzy was the fact that Friday the 9th was the anniversary of another inferno. One year ago on Friday, a neighborhood in San Bruno, California went up in flames due to the incompetence and negligence of the local utility, Pacific Gas & Electric. If only the incompetence had been as benevolent as that seen in Stinque World Domination Headquarters last night.
To recap what is going on today, 8 people are still dead, multiple survivors are dealing with debilitating burns and other physical and emotional injuries, and half of the homes destroyed have owners who are still haggling with insurance companies over getting any money to rebuild.
Oh, and PG&E? What’s going on with them?
Well, despite my idealistic hopes a year ago that a corporation/person would be held criminally liable, nothing has happened. Nobody at the corporation has faced criminal charges for the negligence – or arguably the recklessness that led to the death and destruction – when internal documents spelled out the problems years ago …
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. knew in 2008 that the San Bruno gas line that later exploded and the network of smaller pipes it fed had multiple potentially at-risk welds, but decided to spike the system’s pressure so it could avoid the possibility of costly inspections, according to a company memo turned over to federal investigators.
The memo said portions of the transmission pipeline running through San Bruno and “numerous” feeder lines had welds that the federal government considered to be at risk of failure because of their age or historic reputation for unreliability. Boosting the pressure temporarily on the San Bruno line was a way to get around testing the welds and preserve its legal capacity, the memo said.
…or the utility falsifies the documentation…
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has identified 34 miles of pipeline in its urban gas transmission system that its records erroneously list as seamless, revealing documentation problems far more extensive than were apparent after the deadly explosion in San Bruno.
The gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in San Bruno would have happened even if Pacific Gas and Electric Co. had kept accurate records of the line, the company told state regulators Monday.