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PG&E defends its record on customer safety

To the editor: Your article quotes a claim that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. diverted funds earmarked for gas safety work to executive compensation. That claim is wrong. The misperception grew out of two reports by a consultant to the California Public Utilities Commission, which alleged underspending on gas transmission and distribution systems. ("Funds for safety went to utility execs' pay instead, PUC president says," March 25)

An expert consultant hired by PG&E reanalyzed the data and concluded, in formal submissions to the CPUC, that PG&E spent hundreds of millions of dollars more on its gas transmission and distribution system from 1997 to 2010 than provided for by our rate cases with the CPUC.

The safety of our customers, employees and the communities we serve is our top priority. Since the San Bruno accident in September 2010, PG&E has spent or committed to spend more than $2.8 billion of shareholder funds — not included in customer rates — on gas system improvements to enhance safety and reliability.

Tim Fitzpatrick, San Francisco

The writer is vice president of corporate relations at PG&E.

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