PG&E Could Pay Record Fine For 2010 Natural Gas Blast

Regulators recommend utility company Pacific Gas and Electric pay a $2.25 billion penalty for a natural gas explosion in San Bruno, Calif. The fire, blamed on poor maintenance on an aging pipeline, killed eight people, injured dozens and destroyed 38 homes in the San Francisco suburb.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with record fines for PG&E.

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INSKEEP: Regulators have recommended that the utility company Pacific Gas and Electric - that's PG&E pay a $2.25 billion penalty for a natural gas explosion in San Bruno, California.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That fire, blamed on poor maintenance on an aging pipeline, it killed eight people, injured dozens and destroyed 38 homes in the San Francisco suburb.

A report released yesterday by the commission said investigators found PG&E committed more than 100 violations, some of them going back decades.

INSKEEP: Now if approved, the fine would be by far the largest ever levied by the California Public Utilities Commission and PG&E would be breaking its own record, having paid $38 million for another natural gas explosion back in 2008.

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