Last week San Francisco/San Mateo State Sen. Leland Yee and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane held a press conference to announce that PG&E had “committed” to moving the San Bruno gas pipeline at the heart of a devastating fire in the city.The “commitment,” however, seemed laden with caveats and conditions, especially when you tried to get a confirmation from PG&E. “We realize nobody wants that pipeline to be rebuilt in the neighborhood,” said a spokesperson. “We will work with federal, state and city leaders to evaluate all available options. It will not be a decision that PG&E makes on its own.”
Today, in a letter sent to Ruane and disseminated by Yee, PG&E President Chris Johns went a step further in affirming its intent to relocate the pipeline. The key passage:
No ifs, ands, or buts about it, apparently. But just in case, KQED’s Joshua Johnson called PG&E, and a spokeman said that the company had indeed agreed last week to move the pipeline, in meetings with Yee and Ruane. Which is what they had said. Sort of. And which PG&E had said. But not really. Anyway, San Bruno residents affected by the blast are probably relieved. Some have said they won’t return unless the pipeline is moved.
As we discussed during our meeting, PG&E understands that no one wants the damanged section of Line 132 rebuilt at its current location. We know residents in this neighborhood have sufffered a terrible trauma and the pipe is a horrible reminder. On behalf of PG&E, I want to reiterate to you and the residents of your city that you have our commitment that PG&E will not rebuild the damaged section of Line 132 in its current location.