PG & E Wants to Offset Potential Fines Following San Bruno Blast

(AP) – Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants California regulators to offset the fines the utility may face for the San Bruno pipeline explosion by the amount of money the company already has spent testing its lines. PG&E Senior Vice President Tom Bottorff told the California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday that the company expects to be fined at least $200 million for the September 2010 blast, which killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Bottorff asked regulators to give PG&E credit for $221 million in shareholder funds it spent last year on pipeline tests and other changes prompted by the blast. An administrative law judge ultimately will decide what percentage of the company’s natural gas pipeline upgrades will be paid by customers and shareholders.

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