The Ashcroft Group’s John Ashcroft and Melinda Haag , U.S. Attorney for N. California Hereby Asked to Opine Whether CPUC General Counsel Frank Lindh — Father of American Taliban John Walker Lindh — Himself Poses a Mild Security Risk Due to Knowledge of Utilities’ Infrastructure ?
Frank Lindh, a former PG&E lawyer who is now the Public Utilities Commission’s general counsel, said the commission will vote as early as January on whether to back Yee’s proposal. The commission might not support a complete repeal of the secrecy law, but does believe that “openness is not harmful” when it comes to pipeline safety documents, Lindh said.
Lindh said the secrecy law could prevent terrorists from obtaining information that would allow them to target utilities’ infrastructure. Also, he said, the statute bars electricity sellers from inside data that could allow them to drive up prices.
“We would not be willing to throw away the baby with the bath water and abandon” the secrecy law, Lindh said. “But there are probably some areas for improvements.”
Yee said Lindh’s arguments against complete repeal were a “straw man.” If the secrecy law is repealed, he said, the commission would fall under the California Public Records Act, which contains exemptions that will “protect the safety of the public” and “protect proprietary information,” Yee said.