PG&E stalls on pipeline issues

Posted by Christine, September 17, 2011

The San Jose Mercury News reporter Joshua Melvin covers the continuing story of the San Bruno blast:

In the days after a ruptured pipeline unleashed a deadly fireball on their neighborhood, the shaken residents of San Bruno listened to a simple, symbolic pledge from a PG&E executive at the first of many town hall meetings: “We will do everything we can to make you whole.”

A year later, many of the survivors say PG&E has left them instead with broken promises and shattered lives.

Some are still quibbling with the utility over a fair price for the incinerated homes where they had raised their kids and planned to retire. Others are hiring attorneys after waiting eight or nine months for the money they need to rebuild. Many are still paying mortgages on fire-scorched lots or borrowing money from friends to pay off builders and watching as insurance payments for rent run out.

“They’re playing hardball,” fire survivor Gene O’Neil said of PG&E. “They don’t care if they make us whole.”

This photo was taken a week after the blast by SF Appeal.