Well, today California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey officially denied being a lapdog to PG$E — “the $38 million fine should put to rest criticism that the agency is a ‘lapdog’ of PG$E.”
Peevey was talking about fining PG$E $38 million dollars for murder (“a string of safety violations that led up to a Christmas Eve 2008 explosion outside Sacramento that killed a homeowner.”)
As one Chronicle reader pointed out — the fine is trivial, PG$E gave $35 million to PG$E’s CEO who was responsible for the murder, Darbee, to retire.
What’s worse, there is nothing preventing Peevey from approving making you and me pay that $38 million dollars in our power bills.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has a long and deep track record of rubber stamping anything any monopoly utility wants to charge. Worse, in PG$E’s 2010 murder of 14 people, the San Bruno pipeline Explosion, CPUC staff wholly ignored decades of PG$E’s massive and deadly negligence and incompetence. All the while approving billions of dollars in profits for the evil giant corporation.
(Incidentally, If you want to escape from the PUC-PG$E tyranny, take a look at how the town of Palo Alto and City of San Francisco formed their own power Utility and are no longer controlled by the CPUC – or PG$E – though they do negotiate with PG&E and other suppliers for delivery of gas and electrics.)
Yes, I believe it is now clear the government agency charged with protecting California residents from giant energy monopolies — our California Public Utilities Commissioners are indeed lapdogs to the giant energy monopolies including PG$E and Southern California Edison.