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Watchdog Group Demands Formal Investigation Into San Bruno Blast

SAN BRUNO (KCBS) – Consumer groups and some local officials are calling for a formal state investigation of last September's deadly pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

The National Transportation Safety Board has already delivered a preliminary report on the blast and the California Public Utilities Commission has appointed a "Blue Ribbon Panel."

But Mark Toney, executive director of TURN, The Utility Reform Network, said that's not enough because neither of those investigative bodies has any enforcement power.

"It is time for the Public Utilities Commission to open up a public investigation because the public has a right to know," said Toney.

KCBS' Doug Sovern Reports:

TURN's call for a formal public inquiry by the CPUC has been endorsed by State Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

Toney said it is the only way to get PG&E to fix what happened and keep it from happening again.

"Ratepayers want to spend money and invest their money on strategies that are going to prevent explosions from happening in the first place," he said. "That's why we need a full investigation."

Two newly appointed members to the CPUC have ties to TURN, including its former top staff attorney Mike Florio.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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