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Report: PG&E engineer said managers 'ignored' gas safety experts before San Bruno

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Six trends shaping the industries and sectors we cover in 2021

Six trends shaping the industries and sectors we cover in 2021

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Essential Energy Insights - January 2021


Report: PG&E engineer said managers 'ignored' gas safety experts before San Bruno

Pacific Gasand Electric Co. management was dismissive of employeerecommendations to fix pipes before the devastating , accordingto emails presented during the company's criminal trial, The Mercury News of SanJose reported.

One former PG&E engineer said in a post-San Bruno emailto a colleague that senior management had not listened to employees who said systemupgrades were necessary, the report said. The engineer, William Manegold, saidhe had told Christopher Johns, who was then the utility's operations president,to put more money into replacing older pipelines, according to the report,published July 8.

"What I should have said was don't assume that thepeople working on this stuff now are a bunch of idiots that should beignored (as it seemsto me has been done)," Manegold wrote in an email to fellow engineer WayneCiardella, according to The Mercury News.

Ciardella replied that the mismanagement had started in the1980s and said "the truth needs to be fully aired out to the state andfederal authorities," The Mercury News reported.

Other internal PG&E emails indicated that as of April2010, at least 84 miles of pipeline spanning 443 pipe segments hadmanufacturing threats and had exceededtheir maximum allowable operatingpressures, presenting what Manegold agreed in testimony were "significant"threats.

Federal prosecutors have charged the subsidiary with 12felony counts of violating the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act, along with onecount of obstructing the National Transportation Safety Board's investigationinto the September 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people.