Private (non) investment in monopoly infrastructure

A few news items over the last week conspired to inspire me to vent.

First of all, PG&E has been fined for it’s San Bruno pipeline explosion, and they just had another one near Fresno (however, that one may, or may not be a main­te­nance fault). An in­ter­est­ing side–note is that PG&E was granted a rate hike last year by the California Public Utilities Commission to cover their costs in improving in­fra­struc­ture safety.

The other was an article in the Wall Street Journal this last week stating that a number of nuclear power station operators in the US are looking to charge their customers, through rate hikes, for either lifetime extension continue.