Prosecutor: Pacific Gas ignored regulations to cut costs

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Pacific Gas & Electric Co. ignored pipeline safety regulations to cut costs and tried to cover up its illegal practices by misleading federal officials investigating a deadly explosion of one of its natural gas pipelines in the San Francisco Bay Area, a prosecutor said Friday as a criminal trial against the utility giant got underway.

PG&E knew exactly what to do to comply with regulations but didn’t do it, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hallie Hoffman said in her opening statement.

“Instead, it chose a cheaper method that did not ensure the safety of pipelines running through high-consequence areas,” Hoffman said.

PG&E attorney Steven Bauer said the company’s employees did what they could in the face of ambiguous regulations they struggled to understand.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Pacific Gas & Electric Co. ignored pipeline safety regulations to cut costs and tried to cover up its illegal practices by misleading federal officials investigating a deadly explosion of one of its natural gas pipelines in the San Francisco Bay Area, a prosecutor said Friday as a criminal trial against the utility giant got underway.

PG&E knew exactly what to do to comply with regulations but didn’t do it, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hallie Hoffman said in her opening statement.

“Instead, it chose a cheaper method that did not ensure the safety of pipelines running through high-consequence areas,” Hoffman said.

PG&E attorney Steven Bauer said the company’s employees did what they could in the face of ambiguous regulations they struggled to understand.

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