PG&E Wildfire Plan Blasted as Bailout of "Criminal Utility"

July 25, 2018

Mercury News
By George Avalos

Critics on Wednesday blasted a wildfire proposal circulated by Gov. Jerry Brown, calling the governor’s plan a measure that would shield PG&E from wildfire liabilities and create a bailout for a utility that’s already a convicted felon.

The governor this week proposed a plan that could dramatically ease the potential wildfire-related financial burdens on large utilities such as PG&E by potentially shoveling more costs onto ratepayers’ shoulders. Proposals by the governor and two lawmakers have drawn intense scrutiny and skepticism in the wake of fatal infernos last October that scorched the North Bay Wine Country and adjacent regions, killing 44 people and destroying 8,800 structures.

“PG&E has a long history of causing wildfires, creating explosions and poisoning communities,” Noreen Evans, a former state senator from Northern California, said Wednesday. “PG&E was on criminal probation at the time of the wildfires. I can’t believe that the governor’s plan is to let PG&E off the hook and make ratepayers liable for the wildfires.” Evans was in the state Legislature from 2004 to 2014.