PG&E threatens residents with legal action Around Town, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:19 am
Residents who want a large Pacific Gas & Electric gas pipeline removed from their backyards have received a letter threatening legal action if they do not comply with efforts to strip their backyards of trees and bushes that sit over the pipeline right-of-way.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 25, 2013, 12:00 AM
Posted by MV-Refugee, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:19 am
Upon hearing reports that PG&E was threatening to take action against homeowners in MV for offending vegetation over a pipeline, I hit a personal "PG&E Trifecta." Last weekend while taking one of my routine walks in Grass Valley in the Gold Country, I noticed once again the dozens of pine trees at road's edge that had been topped. Their straight, upward growth truncated abruptly. Some of these cuts had been made recently, while some had been made a few years ago. I think PG&E calls it "vegetation management." "Tree Disfigurement" would be a better term. I value my electrical service, and I know that trees and electrical lines don't always coexist well, especially during storms. Pruning needs to occur, but topping or hacking a pine tree across the trunk makes little sense - even if it's adjacent to a residential type power line. A truncated tree seeks to grow upward again, and often does so randomly by shooting bushy growth toward the lines the utility seeks to protect. Even worse, some of the topped trees aren't even close enough to the line to warrant the topping. Strategically pruning branches would make more sense, leaving the tree and generating less slash to haul away -- assuming the pruning crew hauls all of it away. Often, they don't... The second leg of my personal "PG&E Trifecta" was the "Oakland Gnome Controversy" described in the Sunday Chronicle. Someone is painting pictures of gnomes on boards and screwing the boards to the bases of utility poles. Of course, PG&E is upset. A PG&E spokesperson claimed that screwing the boards into the power poles affects their "integrity." (I think the spokesman was referring to the poles and not PG&E.) However, that same spokesperson didn't comment on yard and garage sale placards or postings for lost pets stapled or nailed to the poles... Finally, my trifecta was complete when I read about the conflict between MV homeowners and PG&E regarding the vegetation over a pipeline. PG&E appears to have regained its footing after the San Bruno Pipeline Explosion and is ready spin the resulting safety momentum in its favor. It's a clever move against folks who want a section of aged pipeline moved. PG&E claims the offending vegetation prohibits aerial monitoring of the pipeline's integrity. I can't comment on the efficacy of moving the pipeline, but I think PG&E could monitor that section -- and others -- from the ground. But, I see the problem. Not only would PG&E have to abandon the fly-overs, but it would mean getting off its high horse...