August 2011, Vol. 238 No. 8

Government

NTSB faults PG&E and government oversight in San Bruno explosion

On August 30 the five-member National Transportation Safety Board announced that its nearly year-long investigation into the San Bruno pipeline explosion has determined that Pacific Gas & Electric’s lax approach to pipeline safety and inadequate oversight from the California utility commission and PHMSA were the ultimate cause of the most devastating pipeline accident in a decade. “Our investigation revealed that for years, PG&E exploited weaknesses in a lax system of oversight,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “We also identified regulators that placed a blind trust in the companies that they were charged with overseeing to the detrime

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