Just before the California Public Utilities Commission appointed a blue ribbon panel to oversee gas pipelines, Pacific Gas & Electric said October 12 it was set to apply to regulators for more capital spending on its natural gas infrastructure. The utility refused to estimate how much it would ask for investment spending. Management did note that it would be targeted to high population areas near gas lines. Chris Johns, PG&E president, also said that shareholders would be contributing $10 million to a new foundation. The mission of that entity, he said, is to support the “next generation” of inspection and diagnostic tools for pipelines. Unlike the shareholder commitment, capital spending is supported by ratepayers. “Our concern is that their actions are taken to solve a perceived problem before we get the results of the investigation and thoughtfully considered recommendations,” noted Dave Ashuckian, Division of Ratepayer Advocates deputy director.