San Mateo County Joins City of San Bruno Demanding Ouster of CPUC President

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, November 6, joined the City of San Bruno, Assembly Member Jerry Hill and a grass roots group led by San Bruno citizens in demanding the immediate removal of Michael Peevey as President of the California Public Utilities Commission saying he has “failed in his fundamental duty to protect” residents and the public interest.

The demand comes 26 months after a faulty weld on a natural gas pipeline operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company caused an explosion and fire that killed eight people, injured dozens more and destroyed 38 homes in San Bruno.

Peevey was a key decision maker during the time the CPUC failed to conduct proper oversight of PG&E. Later, in its report on the tragedy, the independent National Transportation Safety Board was highly critical of the commission under Peevey.  Despite the CPUC’s regulatory lapses under his leadership, Peevey appointed himself to lead the inquiry into whether PG&E should be fined for devastating an entire community.

The Board of Supervisors called Peevey’s recent unilateral attempt to require mediation in the negotiations without the agreement of all the parties “a violation of public trust and contrary to reasonable and ethical standards of governance.”

“All Californians deserve an open and transparent process to hear and understand what led to the tragic explosion that engulfed a neighborhood,” San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine said.

“By suspending public hearings and unilaterally attempting to appoint a mediator, President Peevey has undermined and clouded the validity of the CPUC’s critical regulatory function,” said Pine, who introduced the resolution calling for Peevey’s removal.

San Mateo County will seek support from other counties in seeking Peevey’s removal as the commission’s president.

At the hearing this morning in Redwood City, San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane was joined by San Bruno resident Kathy DeRenzi in asking the Board to support the city’s efforts to oust Peevey from the CPUC presidency.

De Renzi told the Board that she literally ran for her life when a geyser of flame erupted in her neighborhood on the evening of Sept. 9, 2010, killing her neighbors and devastating the neighborhood. De Renzi is gathering signatures demanding Peevey’s removal on http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-jerry-brown-appoint-a-new-president-of-cpuc-immediately-2

Media Contacts:

Supervisor Dave Pine 650-363-4571

Marshall Wilson, Communications Director, 650-363-4153, mwilson@smcgov.org

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