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Utilities commission head gets grilling
April 18, 2013, 05:00 AM The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO — Lawmakers grilled the California Public Utilities Commission’s executive director about a recent report on the agency’s poor safety culture, and ordered him to return to Sacramento next week with a plan to fix the problem.

Members of an Assembly budget subcommittee said Wednesday the report raised serious concerns about whether the agency had done enough to improve oversight of the utilities it regulates since the deadly 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

The confidential survey of commission staff by Business Advantage Consulting highlights employees’ concerns that the CPUC doesn’t prioritize safety and has a cozy relationship with industry.

Executive director Paul Clanon testified at the hearing that it will take several more years to instill a focus on safety, and he plans to use the findings to develop strategies for broader accountability.

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