Wednesday Must Read: PG&E Ignored Chance to Lessen Disaster; Jerry Brown Launches Attack Ads

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. PG&E knew more than a decade ago that automatic shut-off valves on natural gas pipelines could lessen potential disasters, yet chose not to install them. The Chron reports that because PG&E was still using manual shut-off valves, it took workers nearly two hours to turn off the gas that fed the deadly San Bruno firestorm. Federal officials said remotely controlled automatic valves, by contrast, can shut off gas lines in about ten minutes. San Bruno fire officials said some of the damage from the fire potentially could have lessened if the gas were turned off earlier. It’s not clear why PG&E chose not to install the valves, but in a 1999 report to federal transportation officials, the utility acknowledged that automatic valves are better than manual ones. State lawmakers say they will introduce legislation that will require automatic valves on all gas-lines.

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