California Gas Utility Convicted For Gas Explosion

On August 10, 2016, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was found guilty by a California federal court jury of criminal activity for violating pipeline safety standards in a 2010 gas line explosion that killed eight people, injured many others, and caused widespread property damage. The company was also convicted of obstructing a subsequent federal investigation into the explosion. Far too often, corporate pipeline operators ignore the safety standards contained in the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act because compliance would reduce profitability. In addition, corporations frequently refuse to fully and properly investigate explosions or, as in this case, they refuse to turn over investigative information, knowing that transparency would reveal their failures to follow safety standards.