Welcome to the February 2012 edition of the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) eNewsletter, where you'll find information on the CPUC's outreach to the senior community, the state senate confirmation of two Commissioners, and more!


CPUC Continues Outreach to Senior Community

In January the CPUC participated in three Senior Scam Stopper events.

At the E.M. Hart Senior Center in Sacramento the CPUC attended a seminar sponsored by the Contractors State License Board in conjunction with state Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). The CPUC provided attendees with information about the low income programs CARE, California LifeLine, as well as how to avoid telephone scams like slamming and cramming.

The CPUC also participated in other Senior Scam Stopper seminars held in Fresno and Sacramento. Organized by the Contractors State License Board, the Fresno event was sponsored by Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) and was held at the Ted C. Wills Community Center, while the Sacramento event was sponsored by Senator Steinberg and was held at the Samuel Pannel Meadowview Community Center. The attendees were given information about the CPUC, robocalls, consumer programs, and for-hire passenger carriers and moving companies.

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CPUC Commissioners Confirmed by State Senate

The State Senate has unanimously confirmed the appointments of Mike Florio and Catherine J.K. Sandoval as Commissioners of the CPUC.

Said Commissioner Florio, “It is both a great honor and a sobering responsibility to be appointed and confirmed as a CPUC commissioner. My pledge to the people of California is that I will work like a horse on their behalf and always strive to promote the public interest in my decisions.”

Said Commissioner Sandoval, “I am honored and humbled by the confidence of the California State Senate, Governor Brown, and the people of the State of California in my ability and qualifications to serve as a Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission. I pledge to be diligent in discharging our fundamental responsibility to ensure that utilities under our jurisdiction provide safe, reliable service at just and reasonable rates. I hope that our work will help the people of our golden state prosper.”

Commissioners Florio and Sandoval were appointed to the CPUC in January 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown.

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CPUC Fines PG&E; Begins Penalty Consideration Case for Pipeline Rupture

In January, the CPUC levied two fines against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and opened a penalty consideration case for PG&E’s pipeline rupture that occurred in San Bruno, Calif., in September 2010.

On Dec. 1, 2011, the CPUC augmented its natural gas safety efforts by creating a Citation Program under which natural gas companies can be fined by CPUC staff for violating state and federal safety rules. The first such citation under the new program was issued to PG&E on Jan. 27, 2012, for $16.8 million for failure to conduct pipeline leak surveys.

On Jan. 12, 2012, the CPUC fined PG&E $100,000 for failure to comply with certain environmental mitigation measures in its construction of the Seventh Standard Substation in northwest Bakersfield. In addition, PG&E will make a donation of $50,000 to the Endangered Species Recovery Program at California State University, Stanislaus.

Also on Jan. 12th, the CPUC issued a staff report alleging that PG&E violated state law and various federal and state pipeline safety regulations and accepted industry standards, leading to a pipeline rupture in San Bruno on September 9, 2010. The CPUC’s Commissioners voted unanimously to immediately open a penalty consideration case to examine the report and, as appropriate, consider proper penalties and remedies for such violations.

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Visit our Consumer Information Center for more assistance. Consumers with utility complaints can call our Consumer Affairs Branch at 1-800-649-7570.

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CPUC Meetings, Hearing and Events

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Produced by the CPUC's News and Public Information Office and Business and Community Outreach, 415-703-1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov
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