PG&E Hit With $1.6 Billion Fine For California Gas Line Explosion

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission, in a 4-0 vote Thursday, slapped Pacific Gas & Electric Co. with a $1.6 billion fine for its role in the deadly San Bruno natural-gas pipeline explosion in Sept. 9, 2010, according to media reports. The company is a subsidiary of San Francisco-based PG&E Corp. . It is by far the largest fine ever levied against a California utility. Together with other costs related to the blast, the company faces $2.2 billion in penalties and fines. It still faces possible criminal fines of up to $1.1 billion for the explosion, which killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. PG&E Corp. shares were down 1.3% on the news, leading decliners in the Dow Jones Utility Average Index .

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