George Mitchell to Mediate PG&E Settlement
HOST: A former U.S. Senator with mediation experience in Northern Ireland and the Middle East will apply those skills to a local dispute: How much money PG&E should pay in fines to settle lawsuits relating to the 2010 explosion in San Bruno. KQED's Amy Standen reports.
AMY STANDEN: George Mitchell, who served as a U.S. senator from Maine until 1995, has his work cut out for him.
Four parties -- including state regulators, the city of San Bruno, and PG&E -- have until November 1st to decide how many millions of dollars the utility should pay for failing to prevent the explosion, which killed eight people.
PG&E says it supports Mitchell's appointment. But another party to the talks, the consumer advocacy group TURN, said the announcement took them by surprise. TURN spokeswoman Mindy Spatt called Mitchell's appointment a "backroom deal."
PG&E shareholders will pay the fines, not customers. Shareholders will also pay Senator Mitchell's mediation bill.
I'm Amy Standen, KQED News.