Whipped by federal regulators and the public in the wake of the Pacific Gas & Electric San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, the California Public Utilities Commission held a workshop Jan 11 to guide a change in future safety regulation. \u201cSept. 9  was a failure of the commission,\u201d Ed Randolph, commission Energy Division director said. He noted that after deregulation in the mid-1990s, the commission \u201cdrifted away\u201d from a focus on regulation, to a \u201cpurely policy making body.\u201d Changing the way the commission has approached safety in the past, and taking the vow of \u201cnever again\u201d is the goal, said commissioner Mike Florio. The new tack is approaching safety with \u201cqualitative\u201d as well as \u201cquantitative\u201d analysis, according to commission president Mike Peevey. There\u2019s a cost to getting to that goal, noted consumer advocates. \u201cQualitative analysis can become an excuse to justify all sorts of [utility] spending,\u201d noted The Utility Reform Network attorney Marcel Hawiger. Pacific Gas & Electric attorney Steve Frank said that the cost of safety measures is going to be \u201cfront and center\u201d in its 2014-17 general rate case. Frank expects the initial filings for the ratesetting procedure to be available in July. \u201cIt will be focusing heavily on a qualitative showing of risk,\u201d he added.