VIDEO: PG&E kicks off court-mandated ad campaign publicly apologizing for role in deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion


SAN BRUNO (KRON) -- PG&E has kicked off a court-mandated ad campaign, publicly apologizing for its role in the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion in 2010.

A federal judge ordered the utility provider to run the ads earlier this year. And city leaders have mixed feelings.

It's been more than 6.5 years since the deadly pipeline explosion in San Bruno. And PG&E is making a very public apology but it is an apology forced upon them by the courts.

"On Sept. 9, 2010, PG&E learned a tragic lesson we can never forget," a voice says in the ad.

On Thursday, the public service announcement from PG&E started running on television stations around the Bay Area. It will also appear on KRON4 next week.

Last summer, PG&E was found guilty on five federal counts of failing to properly maintain and inspect its gas pipelines.

Earlier this year, a federal judge fined the power provider $3 million and required them to run an ad campaign publicly acknowledging the convictions.

The commercial was created to satisfy that requirement.

"I think PG&E could have gone farther," San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson said.

Jackson has seen the ad.

She says it sets the right tone, but she wishes PG&E had done something like this sooner.

"We are still here six-and-half years later with this advertising, putting PG&E in the position of having to publicly take responsibility," Jackson said. "That should have happened sooner."

But even though PG&E has been convicted in federal court, fined more than $1.5 billion by the state, put under an ethics monitoring program, and forced to run ads, Jackson says that what happened in San Bruno will not be easily forgotten anytime soon.

"To suggest that this will ever be done, ever forgotten, or fully righted is probably more than we can hope for," Jackson said.

PG&E also ran a print campaign with ads in the San Francisco Chronicle and Wall Street Journal.

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