Saying fines don't work, California's top regulator asks for review of size of PG&E

EnergyAssociated Press

California's top utility regulator is asking if the state's largest utility is too big for safety.

Michael Picker of the state Public Utilities Commission asked that question ahead of a commission meeting Thursday addressing safety at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Picker said it appeared the utility, with $1.6 billion in earnings in 2014, was able to shrug off financial penalties.

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The Associated Press obtained a copy of Picker's statement. The utilities commission president says he will ask commission staff to study the structure of PG&E. That includes looking at the current setup of one board and CEO for both gas and electric services.

PG&E responded by stressing its safety upgrades and training since a 2010 PG&E gas pipeline explosion. That blast killed eight people in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno.