What Is PG&E Really Hoping to Accomplish?
What is PG&E's Real Motivation?

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What is this whole PG&E situation with Mountain View really about?
What is PG&E's real motivation, and what is its real goal?
Based on the available evidence, it seems to be as follows:

PG&E has been completely mismanaged over the past decade.
This is quite well-documented, as a result of the intense scrutiny that has followed from the San Bruno catastrophe.
During this past decade, PG&E seems to have ignored its legal responsibility to patrol its pipelines, at least in Mountain View.

As a result of the San Bruno catastrophe, the incredible depth of PG&E mismanagement and the incredible number of violations that it has committed have come to light.

PG&E realizes that it can no longer get by like it used to in the past, but that it must perform patrolling of its pipelines.

Patrolling pipelines is quite expensive.

Aerial patrolling is much cheaper than patrolling by walking the line.

Aerial patrolling is not practical unless the trees that are located within the easements are removed.

PG&E has determined that the cheapest way to honor its commitment to patrol is to make homeowners the "generous" offer of paying to remove all trees within its easement, thereby enabling the much cheaper aerial patrolling.

Under the current easement agreement in force, PG&E cannot legally force homeowners to allow it to remove our trees. PG&E decided upon a plan whereby it would use its corporate clout, backed by intimidation and lies, to coerce homeowners into amending our easement agreement with PG&E to allow it the right to remove our trees.

Since its initial attempt at simply demanding, backed by intimidation and multiple lies, that homeowners amend our agreement to allow PG&E to cut down our trees so that it can do aerial monitoring did not succeed with all homeowners in Mountain View, PG&E changed its justification to claiming that tree roots might damage pipes. It is true that tree roots might, but is that justification to overturn 70 years of PG&E precedent regarding trees?

No. Not only does this violate the terms of the easement agreement in force, this contradicts PG&E's own web page on the subject, as well as industry standards and federal and state law.

This whole situation is all about money. PG&E is simply looking for the cheapest way to fulfill its patrolling responsibility, and that is aerial patrolling. PG&E has decided to use lying and intimdation to enable it to pass as much of its pain as possible onto homeowners.

This type of unethical behavior is not new for PG&E. PG&E has found a way to make its customers foot much of the bill for it to meet its new safety requirements, even though most PG&E customers are under the impression that they have already paid for much of it.

For another example, here is a quote from the San Francisco Chronicle: "On January 13, 2012, an independent audit from the State of California issued a report stating that PG&E had illegally diverted over $100 million from a fund used for safety operations, and instead used it for executive compensation and bonuses."

PG&E's real motivation seems to be a clear-cut case of corporate greed. It is well-documented that PG&E management is far more inclined to focus solely on corporate profits than on societal safety.

The case of Mountain View is clear evidence for those who have yet to recognize it that PG&E has not changed since the San Bruno explosion, except to the degree that society has noticed its behavior and forced it to change. Society simply cannot afford to look the other way and let PG&E continue its current behavior.