The California Public Utilities Commission rightly faces questions about its effectiveness and responsibilities, but in the end the issue of reforms will come down to a question of power—the political kind.
Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s proposed constitutional amendment to replace the authority of the PUC will get the debate started and public sentiment should be on his side. The natural gas disaster at Porter Ranch follows in relative short order the San Bruno gas line explosion and the questionable dealings involving the San Onofre nuclear power plant. All these highly publicized issues have given the PUC a black eye.
The PUC’s stated mission is “protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure….”