SACRAMENTO – In the wake of utility-directed power shutoffs that impacted nearly two million Californians, Governor Gavin Newsom today demanded that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) be held accountable. The Governor urged PG&E to provide affected customers an automatic credit or rebate of $100 per residential customer and $250 per small business as some compensation for their hardships. Governor Newsom also sent a letter to California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) President Marybel Batjer confirming that the Commission will be conducting a comprehensive inquiry and review of PG&E’s planning, implementation and decision-making process failures.
“Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” said Governor Newsom. “PG&E’s mismanagement of the power shutoffs experienced last week was unacceptable. We will continue to hold PG&E accountable to make radical changes – prioritizing the safety of Californians and modernizing its equipment.”
In July, the Governor signed AB 1054, which established new requirements for PG&E to improve safety and address decades of mismanagement. In his letter to President Batjer, the Governor asked the CPUC to increase its scrutiny of PG&E’s progress on long overdue actions required under AB 1054 to make its infrastructure resilient to wildfires to avoid Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events.
Read the full letter to CPUC President Batjer here and to PG&E CEO William Johnson here.
Since the first days of his administration, Governor Newsom has taken bold action to protect Californians from wildfires:
Expedited wildfire prevention projects to protect 200 of California’s most wildfire-vulnerable communities.
Awarded $20 million in block grants to improve forest health and increase fire resiliency.
Joined with Governors Kate Brown of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington in requesting President Trump double the federal government’s financial investment in managing federal forestlands in California, Washington and Oregon.
Deployed the California National Guard to assist CAL FIRE with emergency hazardous fuels-management projects.
Launched an “Innovation Procurement Sprint” to get the most cutting-edge tools into the field and tackle the wildfire threat, resulting in two pilot projects to help modernize wildfire prevention and response.
Partnered with XPRIZE to design an incentive prize for innovation to battle wildfires.
Secured delegation of authority from the Secretary of Defense to fly Cal Guard’s infrared equipped Unmanned Aerial System in support of CAL FIRE missions.
Partnered with the federal government to secure state access to satellite-based technology to detect wildfire ignitions.
Accelerated publication of new Emergency Alert and Warning Guidelines, ahead of wildfire season.