Senator Hill Urges CPUC to Block San Diego Utility from Buck-Passing in Wildfires

November 29, 2017

For Immediate Release, Office of State Senator Jerry Hill, November 29, 2017

State Senator Jerry Hill Calls for CPUC to Block San Diego Utility from Passing the Buck on 2007 Southern California Wildfire Costs to Customers

SAN MATEO – State Senator Jerry Hill issued the following statement today on Thursday’s pending vote by the California Public Utilities Commission, which is to decide whether San Diego Gas & Electric Company should be allowed to pass along $379 million in costs for uninsured liability claims to customers as a result of three Southern California wildfires that occurred a decade ago.

The case is being closely watched by the utility industry and, closer to home, by PG&E, which has said that if it is found liable in the devastating Northern California wildfires, it too will seek CPUC permission to pass along the cost for claims that exceed its insurance coverage to ratepayers.

“The CPUC should heed the decision of two of its own administrative law judges, who have already rejected the demand from SDG&E,” said state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. “The utility’s unflagging efforts to pass the buck for these wildfires to their customers – and the industry’s support for ratepayers to shoulder the costs for utilities’ liabilities in disasters – are an outrage.”

The CPUC is scheduled to take up the issue in its meeting that begins at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, November 30, at 505 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. [See Item 40 of the commission agenda.]

In November, Senator Hill wrote the CPUC urging it to end the delays in the case and uphold the proposed decision that the administrative law judges issued in August. The senator and other legislators have also announced that they will introduce a bill in January to prevent electrical utilities found culpable in wildfires from passing their uninsured liabilities along to customers.

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Resources

View Senator Hill’s Letter to the CPUC here:
http://sd13.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd13.senate.ca.gov/files/11-15-17_-_letter_to_puc_-_wildfires.pdf

View news release on prospective legislation here:
http://sd13.senate.ca.gov/news/2017-10-30-state-legislators-introduce-bill-prohibiting-electric-utilities-found-fault

CPUC meeting to be webcast here:
http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/

View proposed decision by administrative law judges here:
http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M193/K981/193981771.PDF

Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404 cell, leslieguevarra@sen.ca.gov