Calif. Gas Company Floats Safety Proposals

WASHINGTON -- The California utility whose ruptured gas pipeline led to a massive explosion and fire that killed seven people is suggesting lawmakers create a federal standard to limit how close companies can build high-pressure pipelines to homes.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company President Chris Johns said in prepared testimony to a Senate panel Tuesday that lawmakers should also consider formal safety benchmarks for pipeline operations, a reassessment of the adequacy of the technologies companies use to test the safety of pipes, and a broad review of the impacts of urbanization on the nation's gas transmission system.

The Sept. 9 explosion in suburban San Francisco destroyed more than 30 homes.