The Latest: Prosecutor: Pacific Gas tried to save money

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The Latest on the criminal trial of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on a charge of obstructing officials investigating a deadly gas line explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

A prosecutor says Pacific Gas & Electric Co. ignored pipeline safety regulations to cut costs and maximize its profits.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hallie Hoffman said during opening statements in a criminal case against PG&E that the company ignored problems with its records about pipelines and did not subject them to appropriate testing. Instead, Hoffman said PG&E used a cheaper test.

Among the pipelines at issue in the trial is one that exploded in a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood in 2010, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes.

Hoffman said PG&E misled federal officials investigating the blast about the standard it was using to identify high-risk pipelines.


1 a.m.

Attorneys for the government and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will begin presenting their cases in a criminal trial alleging the utility giant obstructed investigators after a deadly pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After several days of jury selection, opening statements are scheduled to start Friday in federal court in San Francisco.

A PG&E natural gas pipeline exploded in the city of San Bruno six years ago in a disaster that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

During the investigation that followed, prosecutors say the San Francisco-based utility misled federal officials about how it was identifying high-risk pipelines.

PG&E has pleaded not guilty and said its employees did not intentionally violate pipeline safety laws or obstruct an investigation. The company faces a $562 million fine if convicted.