SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. rates are set to increase by $299 million to help pay for pipeline inspection and upgrade costs in the wake of the fatal 2010 gas pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay area suburb.

The state Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the rate increase on Thursday. It was less than what PG&E had sought.

Commissioners said they were trying to strike a balance between punishing PG&E for past mismanagement and encouraging the company to invest in safety.

The costs to repair and upgrade the pipelines has been estimated at around $2 billion.

The 2010 blast in San Bruno killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

PG&E has claimed in court filings that the explosion was an accident.

PG&E Rates Will Increase to Pay $299 Million for Pipeline Improvements 20 December,2012Laird Harrison

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