Our Money is Fueling PG&E’s Fires and Profits!
In the past 5 years alone, PG&E has caused over 1,500 wildfires, including 5 of the state’s 10 most destructive. These fires killed over a hundred people, destroyed thousands of buildings, burned hundreds of thousands of acres, and amassed over $30 billion in damages.
The fires are the result of years of PG&E neglecting maintenance of its crumbling transmission infrastructure in Northern and Central California in order to pay out billions of dollars to wealthy investors through executive bonuses and shareholder dividends.
The consequences? The state has stepped in to bail out and shore up this private utility by forcing us to bear the risks and pay the costs. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which is supposed to regulate the utilities for the public good, is instead helping PG&E pay for its wildfire costs by imposing rate hikes on its customers (you and me) and exposing us to increased risks.
Last July, Governor Newsom rammed a massive utility bailout bill (AB 1054) through the California Legislature. The “Newsom Bailout” reshapes state law to permanently pass future wildfire liability costs on to ratepayers, transfers the burden of proof regarding utility negligence from the utilities to the people, and suspends public transparency and accountability processes for wildfire bailout decisions.
As a result, our monthly bills are going up along with the risks of wildfires and massive power shutoffs. Unless we oppose this PG&E bailout madness.
Want to learn more about what the PG&E bailouts mean for you? Check out the full factsheet here.