Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), the only member of Congress from Northern California on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, today sent a letter to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minnesota) requesting a field hearing in the Bay Area on the causes of the San Bruno pipeline explosion and strategies to prevent future preventable disasters. Garamendi announced the submission of the letter at a Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing on pipeline safety.
View a PDF of the letter here: http://garamendi.house.gov/sanbruno.pdf.
“My heart goes out to the people of San Bruno, and we owe it to them to get to the bottom of what caused this tragedy,” Congressman Garamendi said. ”America has enough natural gas pipelines to circle the Earth 100 times. How many of us live or work above a potential devastating explosion? If our pipeline infrastructure is dangerous and in disrepair, we need to know.”
“The most high risk pipeline in the Bay Area runs through my district – from Livermore to Sunol,” added Garamendi, California’s former Lieutenant Governor and State Insurance Commissioner. “People I represent are among the most vulnerable in the nation, yet according to a recent newspaper report, city officials were not informed. I have many questions for PG&E and the state and federal regulators. I want answers.”
According to Mike Taugher and Paul Rogers in the Contra Costa Times, “Livermore officials were never informed of the pipeline risk, said a Livermore official who described his attempts to get information this week from PG&E as ‘frustrating.’”
“If they’re rating things as high risk, they should be working with local jurisdictions to inform them of that,” Livermore assistant city manager Troy Brown was quoted in the Times. “We have a right to know that information.”