July 14, 2015
Plains All-American Pipeline, owner & operator of Line 901, a crude oil pipeline that shuttles oil extracted from offshore rigs in the Santa Barbara Channel, to storage & refining facilities in California’s Central Valley and out-of-state, doesn’t give much credence to automatic shut-off valves It prefers to operate the line remotely from it’s facilities in Texas, using manual valves, which makes it the only oil pipeline in Santa Barbara County without automatic shutoff ability.
The most recent internal inspection by the Federal agency with overview, PHMSA, revealed much greater pipeline corrosion than Plains had stated, which resulted in a burst pipeline just South of Refugio Beach State Park this past June, apparently triggered by changes in pipeline pressure by the same remote facility in Texas. Crude oil flowed through a couple of drainage culverts, down a swale, over a bluff, and flowed into the surf. An estimated 21,000 gallons of it, out of a total spill of 105,000 gallons.
The Santa Barbara Independent ( http://www.independent.com ) has been the best source of news to date.
April 24, 2015
PG&E executives and Board were just fine with former long-time Regulatory Affairs VP Brian Cherry’s chummy working relationship with California utility regulators at the CPUC even when their 30-inch gas line exploded beneath a San Bruno neighborhood, killing and maiming residents. It took the bulk subpoenaing of emails by the City of San Bruno to reveal to everyone else the extent of manipulation and collusion between Mr. Cherry and CPUC President Michael Peevey, his chief of staff, and mid-level managers at the CPUC.
Job One at PG&E (and at any publicly-traded utility) is their “safety culture” PR mantra, to the extent that it keeps up a squeaky clean image for Wall Street investors. Ratepayers and everybody else can take a hike.
To be expected, PG&E stock dived after word of the regulatory collusion was aired, so image-savvy PG&E took the only course open to them—extreme image makeover. Lifting their Office (file cabinet) of Corporate Ethics (waivers) from its musty corner somewhere in the San Francisco waterfront warehouses where the rumored gas transmission line inspection records were supposedly kept, to a shiny new Vice President position reporting directly to Board Chair & CEO Tony Earley, the company hired seasoned corporate lawyer Julie Kane. Ms. Kane held a similar position at AVON where she recently steered the company to safety amidst a corruption scandal involving their Chinese operations, overseeing a $135M penalty settlement brought by the Dept. of Justice on behalf of the SEC.
Now, if PG&E could just hire someone ethical to run the power generation arm of the company, someone who could push for a top-notch professional job of quantifying the seismic safety at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, instead of the piss-poor report they are now trying to sell us. But as the corporation has made clear, they’re not really much interested in the ratepayer’s perception of safety, as they are of the freshness of the roses they send to Wall Street.
April 7, 2015
San Luis Obispo has been crowned (by people who should know better) “The Happiest City” in America. What happens when the electeds take that rubbish seriously, and make it their mission to please everybody? I think you know how that goes (sound slide whistle down-scale). Latest example is the approval of a rogue foul odor ordinance, enforceable by fine.
April 7, 2015
” … San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson and former state Sen. Sam Blakeslee said the utility consistently evaluates seismic data it has collected around the plant in a way that reinforces its claim that the plant is safe despite considerable uncertainty in the data.
“Every time PG&E identifies a threat, they sharpen their pencils and determine that the plant can withstand that threat,” said Gibson, who sits on the independent panel of scientists appointed by the state to evaluate PG&E’s seismic studies.
“We will not come out and say the plant is unsafe, but we will continue to raise concerns about the uncertainty, and there are some serious outstanding concerns,” he added. …”
March 21, 2013
At least 3 million. Plus an act of god. Or several.
March 21, 2013
The regulars at the San Luis Obispo County Supervisor meetings general public comment period: fine, respectful, informed & upstanding citizens all.