Sep 18, 2012 12:03 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

PG&E to charge customers 64 million dollars for seismic studies

"It was not my decision to build a nuclear power plant on a fault line to begin with," says one local San Luis Obispo Resident.

Whether you agree with the planned seismic surveys near Diablo Canyon or not, if they're approved, you'll be paying for them.

Last week, the State Public Utilities Commission gave PG&E the go ahead to pass the surveys' 64-million dollar price tag on to its customers.

The utility company will use high-decibel sound waves to map earthquake fault lines.
The fact that they're passing the cost on to consumers is nothing new.

PG&E says it wasn't really their idea, Senator Sam Blakeslee and the state called for the mapping.
Secondly, they say since every PG&E customer benefits from it, all customers have to pay for it.

Your electricity bill will go up when and if these seismic surveys move forward.

"It is appropriate to pay for the studies through rate increases as the study benefits all of PG&E's customers," says Blair Jones of PG&E.

In other words when you pay your electricity bill every month your not just paying for the electricity. Your paying for the way it gets to you, power lines, piping, and man power.

Your also paying for how its generated. PG&E believes these tests make Diablo Canyon safer.

"The enhanced seismic knowledge of the region, allows for the continued safe operation of this valuable generation facility," says Jones.

Just because the testing is going on here doesn't mean we shoulder the entire burden of paying for it.

Every PG&E customer in the state will see an increase on their bill.

"I can understand why their going to do it but i'd like to know how much its going to cost," said one resident.

PG&E says it will only be a few cents per customer.

"I don't want to spend a penny on a seismic study under the water thats going to destroy our sea life, i want nothing to do with it," says another local.

However, this is nothing new, when PG&E wanted to upgrade to smart meters, customers paid for that too.

"We have our lights on, we have our printers rolling, we have our refrigerators rolling," says John Arnold. "If we don't pay for it who's going to pay for it, we're the users."

PG&E made more than a billion dollars last year so you can understand why some don't want to front the cost, however they wont have a choice if the surveys receive their final approvals.

The next important hurdle for PG&E is getting approval from the State Coastal Commission.
It will discuss the project and vote at its next meeting October 10th in Oceanside.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.



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