In spite of a cold snap in the Bay Area accompanied by the curb in natural gas distribution to the Peninsula and San Francisco, regulators have yet to use their emergency powers to increase pressure to the gas transmission line under investigation following the Sept. 9 San Bruno blast. California Public Utilities Commission president Mike Peevey was authorized to increase the gas flows Oct. 28. He said that the authority may be needed to meet rising consumer demand from natural gas for heating. The pipeline was depressurized after the explosion to mitigate possible health and safety hazards. The emergency power at issue is intertwined with the TransBay electric transmission line and the Potrero power plant. Potrero is the biggest gas consumer in San Francisco. If the plant were to stay idle that would reduce the gas demand and need to increase the pipeline pressure, according to Peevey. The California Independent System Operator requires the Potrero plant to remain on-demand. It operates under a reliability must-run contract to shore up electric transmission grid reliability. Enter the Trans Bay cable. The electric transmission line under the San Francisco Bay is set to bring power into the city. It\u2019s been in testing mode for much of the year. Trans Bay is supposed to be in full service this week. With that cable bringing in electricity from East Bay power plants in Antioch, Pittsburg, and the Delta, Potrero could be shut down, at least in theory. Potrero, an inner-city power plant in San Francisco, has been the target of political opposition and community antipathy. The grid operator states, though, that it cannot wave the shut down flag until Feb. 28, 2011--just about the end of the cold season for the area. At press time, the cold weather and the continued operations of Potrero have not required an increase in pressure to the gas transmission line in San Bruno, according to both PG&E and the CPUC. Since the Sept. 9 explosion in San Bruno, the gas pipelines were depressurized to avoid any more blowouts. Mirant, Potrero\u2019s owner, is waiting for the go-ahead from the grid operator before committing to shut down, according to Mirant spokesperson Chip Little.