Letters to the Editor

Fine is not a rate hike

Jim Vint suggested in a recent letter that consumers will pay the $1.6 billion fine for PG&E. That is not correct. PG&E is a utility that cannot raise its rates without state approval. As you know, PG&E makes a substantial profit each year and pays out dividends to shareholders. PG&E will be put in a position of cutting its stock dividend. Shareholders will suffer, not the consumers.

In fact, the terms of the PUC ruling requires PG&E to refund $400 million to its customers in the form of a credit on their monthly gas bills. On top of that, the PUC ordered PG&E to refund an additional $635 million to its customers that was collected for pipeline improvements that were never made or were mismanaged.