H-NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Dec 20, 2012 1:34 PM by Associated Press

California PUC weighing PG&E request to bill customers for pipeline

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California regulators are set to decide how much Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers should pay to upgrade the utility's gas pipelines in the wake of a deadly explosion in the San Francisco Bay area city of San Bruno.

A decision by the state Public Utilities Commission is expected on Thursday.

The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/12rNFGa) that PG&E has called for a $769 million rate increase through 2014. A public utilities commission law judge has proposed a smaller increase of $278 million.

The 2010 gas pipeline blast killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Attorneys for the victims have argued that PG&E did not do enough to determine if the pipeline had defective welds.

PG&E has claimed in court filings that the explosion was an accident, not due to mismanagement.

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