PG&E Bailout – No! / Community & Worker Owned – Yes!
From Monopoly Utility to Community Power
The Reclaim Our Power: Utility Justice Campaign is an initiative to mobilize a broad coalition of utility ratepayers, social justice advocates, and allies to oppose a bailout of PG&E, achieve a publicly accountable “takeover” of the monopoly, and in the process begin an equitable, sustainable, decentralized restructuring of California’s energy system.
PG&E, a private corporation, even under probation for criminal negligence in the 2010 San Bruno gas explosion, paid out executive bonuses and $4.5 billion in dividends to shareholders when it was supposed to have been ensuring public safety. Yet the Governor and legislature recently rammed through a massive utility bailout bill (AB 1054) that strengthens this criminal utility, passes future wildfire liability costs on to ratepayers, and suspends public transparency and accountability processes for wildfire bailout decision-making.
A Rigged System
The bankruptcy protection and bailout are meant to sidestep the documented safety negligence of PG&E and the collusion of state utility regulators, the Governor, and the State Legislature on the utility’s behalf. On the one hand, whole communities are being destroyed and their residents killed (14,000 homes and 86 people in the 2018 Camp fire), and on the other, corporate giants are being absolved of responsibility and protected from financial obligations to wildfire victims.
It’s time to Democratize Energy
Now is the time for a strong push against business as usual, toward an actualized Green New Deal alternative, in which a community takeover and control of energy resources can demonstrate the power of a democratic and organized mass movement.
The Reclaim Our Power: Utility Justice Campaign is meant to expand and deepen the No PG&E Bailout protest actions that have taken place over the last year and to mobilize social justice forces and our allies to achieve a publicly accountable utility model, one that is more equitable, sustainable, and resilient in the face of the climate crisis.