PG&E isn’t try to start fires. They just keep doing it. Or should I say that their shoddy maintenance and cost cutting keeps starting fires. Sometimes people die for their negligence. Sometimes it’s just people’s homes. But PG&E’s negligence seemingly causes tragedies every year.
PG&E equipment sparked the 2021 Dixie Fire according to investigators. PG&E faces criminal charges in the 2020 Zogg Fire. PG&E started the massive 2019 Kincade Fire. PG&E pled guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2018 Camp Fire. PG&E was convicted of multiple safety violations stemming from a 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people in San Bruno. A Nevada jury found PG&E guilty of 739 counts of criminal negligence for failing to trim trees near its power lines.
Yet for some reason, the California PUC last year approved PG&E’s annual safety certificate, which allows them to access a massive ratepayer-based fund to pay damages. So, PG&E starts fires, ratepayers pay.
They need to get their annual safety certificate again soon. Let’s hope this time the CPUC (and Gov. Newsom) do a bit more study on that this year. They must do more to prevent fires, and our institutions must do more to hold them accountable.