Rightly or wrongly, Assemblymember Jerry Hill of San Mateo really lit into the lame-duck California Public Utilities Commission yesterday over its failure to effectively regulate PG&E before the San Bruno gas explosion. (Watch video of the full exchange between Hill and CPUC President Michael Peevey, from Fox Reno.)

Speaking before the gathered CPUC commissioners, Hill opened with the following remarks:

“I wanted to ask CPUC to conduct its own independent audit and inspection of PGE records and pipes to scrutinize the safety of our natural gas infrastructure…and to verify that the information they are gathering is accurate. Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to make these requests today because I do not have the confidence this commission will do its job. This commission has failed the people of California and especially the people of my district with its culture of complacency.”

At that point, commission president Michael Peevey, a former president of Southern California Edison, rang a little bell, interrupting Hill. But you really need a gavel for that sort of thing; Hill spoke over the tinkling.

Peevey then defended the CPUC response to the tragedy, saying that he found Hill’s lack of failure to mention the committee’s post-explosion investigation “contemptible.”

They then went at it another round.

Video of the dust-up here.

Also yesterday:

Video: Jerry Hill, Commissioner Get Into It at CPUC Meeting 14 January,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of EconomyBeat.org, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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