On November 29th, a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) meeting was overtaken by protestors who were angry about PG&E’s lack of safety practices. PG&E is facing accusations that its equipment caused the Camp Fire, California’s deadliest wildfire.
The CPUC meeting was part of an ongoing three-year investigation into PG&E’s safety practices. The 2017 Tubbs fire, which was California’s most destructive fire until the recent Camp Fire, was linked to PG&E as well. Although the utility company’s responsibility in the fire is still unknown, there are several factors pointing to their liability.
How Is PG&E Involved with the Camp Fire?
According to SF Weekly, PG&E could be partly liable for the Camp Fire that destroyed the city of Paradise and killed 88 people in November. The company was deliberating shutting off power to the area of Butte County but decided not to. An active transmission tower that was damaged near the start of the wildfire is currently being investigated as the fire’s origin point. The loss of power was actually due to the fire, and not the assumed planned outage by PG&E. With no internet, landlines or television, evacuation communications were lost, unclear or delayed.
PG&E has attracted controversy for other reasons. For instance, California politicians bailed out the company for previous disasters. California State Assembly members approved Senate Bill 901 after the Northern California fires last year, which passed on some of PG&E’s liability for the fires to energy consumers. Another bill, written by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, helped PG&E to avoid paying for fire lawsuits. Quirk even has a son that works for the utility company.
Many protesters at the CPUC meeting demanded that California lawmakers stop bailing out the company for “financial hardships” acquired from the Camp Fire and other state wildfires. Other protesters asked for PG&E to be disbanded or taken over as a public utility.
For more information about the California wildfires and what you should know as a California resident, visit our website or call our office at (415) 433-4440 to speak to one of our attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C.