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California PUC too cozy with utilities it regulates—its own staffers say

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The state Public Utilities Commission is too cozy with the utilities it regulates and fosters a lackadaisical culture that discourages tough enforcement. That’s the conclusion, not of outside critics, but of members of the PUC’s own management team and staff, as stated to a consulting firm for a confidential internal report, a copy of which was obtained by the Chronicle. An excerpt:

"If we were enforcing the rules, we would not have to worry about a safety culture. If we were holding the utilities accountable and doing what we were supposed to be doing, San Bruno would never have happened," one person told interviewers.

Another said, "There has been a lot of lip service to safety. I have not seen enough action yet to back up the talk."

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