City Manager News ReleaseCity of San Carlos
City Manager's Office

City Hall
600 Elm Street
Phone: (650) 802-4228
Fax: (650) 595-6729


Subject :

San Carlos Asks Governor Brown to Clean House at the CPUC
Contact :Jeff Maltbie, City Manager    (650) 802-4228
SAN CARLOS, CA, October 6, 2014 – This afternoon, the City of San Carlos received copies of e-mails that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) believes are in violation of California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) rules.  The e-mails are between PG&E and CPUC commissioners and staff and were sent in the days preceeding the December 2013 hearing to consider repressurizing Natural Gas Line 147 in San Carlos. At that hearing, the CPUC  allowed PG&E to fully pressurize the line to 330 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) despite a number of safety concerns expressed by the City of San Carlos and its expert, Dr. Glen Stevick.  The City felt the decision was rushed and didn't allow the City to adequately present its case to keep the pressure down to no more than 240 psig until further investigation of the line could take place.

This revelation comes on the heals of the emails PG&E recently released concerning pre-hearing communications between PG&E and CPUC commissioners and staff involving the San Bruno Pipeline Explosion that resulted in the firing of PG&E staff and the resignation of a CPUC staff member.  The e-mails are available for viewing on the City’s website at
Upon learning of the e-mails, the City immediately called upon the Governor to investigate the CPUC.  The City is also planning to call for the resignation of those CPUC commissioners and staff members involved in the inappropriate communications.

City Manager Jeff Maltbie expressed his concerns, "This is not a surprise to us. We felt that the relationship between PG&E and the CPUC was very cozy and that small communities like San Carlos were looked upon as a nuisance. We now have the smoking gun that the CPUC and PG&E have conspired to put the utility’s interests ahead of public safety. Hopefully, Governor Brown will step in and bring much needed reform to the CPUC, starting by cleaning house and removing its commissioners.  The City spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to ensure the safety of our residents and now we find that the process was likely rigged by PG&E and the CPUC. Our community has been negatively impacted by these reported violations."

Mayor Mark Olbert stated, “I am outraged at the flagrant violation of the rules of conduct by both PG&E and CPUC commissioners and staff. The cozy relationship between them puts the public at risk. It's past time for the Governor's office to clean up the mess at the Commission so that Californians can get the kind of protection they deserve.”