No solace here for the 40 or so San Francisco-area families who lost their homes in last week's gas line explosion: PG&E got permission three years ago to spend $5 million of ratepayers' money—and to factor that cost into rate prices—to fix a portion of the pipe. The work never got done. In fact, the utility asked for another $5 million this year for the same repairs, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
"If they'd fixed the section they said they said they were going to fix, maybe they would have found something a few miles south—we don't know," says an attorney for a watchdog group that released the utility documents. Critics say PG&E has a long history of using maintenance money for other purposes. The massive explosion killed at least four people. Earlier coverage here. (Read more PG&E stories.)