PG&E ordered to release emails critics say may show more improper contact with regulators

SAN FRANCISCO – A judge has ordered Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to release 65,000 emails that critics say could contain additional evidence of backroom dealings between the utility and state regulators.

Administrative Law Judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa ruled Tuesday that PG&E must turn the documents over to the city of San Bruno by Jan. 30. San Bruno was the site of a PG&E gas line explosion in 2010 that killed eight people.

PG&E said in a statement it had already agreed to turn over the emails to the state Public Utilities Commission.

The commission in November fined PG&E $1 million and required its shareholders to cover as much as $400 million of a planned gas rate increase after emails showed a PG&E executive and commission officials discussing which judge to appoint to the rate case.