Kitty Felde

NTSB hearing witness says PG&E buries its lede in safety brochures

It was a journalism 101 class masking as an NTSB hearing on the San Bruno pipeline blast. 

The topic was public awareness.  Pacific Gas and Electric testified that it sends out information to customers about pipeline safety from time to time tucked into their monthly bills.  One NTSB board member asked whether these were called "bill stuffers." 

Carl Weimer of the non-profit group Pipeline Safety Trust told the NTSB that PG&E's mailings bury the lede.  He says if you look through the PG&E brochure, the first thing you run into is “safe, efficient reliable, the popular choice, the safest choice, the safety commitment.”  Weimer says you have to go through "all kinds of things telling you everything’s good before you come to the safety messages.  We need to really try to come up with a different lede in so people will pay attention to what’s inside those brochures."

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