California utility hit with record penalty for deadly blast

April 10, 2015 7:19 AM

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On the heels of a record $1.6 billion penalty against Pacific Gas & Electric Co., California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker said he will study whether the state's biggest power utility should be broken up to improve safety.

The penalty, and the warning that even tougher action might be coming, occurred Thursday, as the commission meted out the utility's punishment in a fiery 2010 gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in a San Francisco suburb.

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