By Hailey Branson-Potts & Maria L. La Ganga, LOS ANGELES TIMES
December 3, 2019
For years, Pacific Gas & Electric failed to do climbing inspections of a century-old tower that malfunctioned and sparked last year’s devastating Camp fire, a state investigation has found.
By Dan Bacher, INDYBAY MEDIA
October 31, 2019
The Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), again in the spotlight of the national and international news media because of its shutoffs of electricity to millions of Californians as fires now rage throughout the state, spent $876,445 on lobbying from January 1 to June 30 of his year.
By Rose Aguilar and Lea Ceasrine, KALW 91.7 FM SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC RADIO
October 31, 2019
On this edition of Your Call, we’ll discuss the history of PG&E and its role in California’s wildfires.
Can Sacramento help wildfire victims get paid without bailing out the investor-owned utilities that claim they cannot pay for all of the wildfires they start?
The debate came to a head today in the California Senate Energy and Utilities Committee, where a parade of skeptics gave tenuous support to a proposal by the Newsom Administration. It tries to make sure shareholders pay for fires utilities start and ratepayers pay for fires where the utilities aren't at fault.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that a California wildfire victims’ relief fund could be important, but that the proposal put forth today by Governor Newsom, in legislative hands, threatens to take rights and dollars from wildfire victims, ratepayers and taxpayers without forcing PG&E to make tangible concessions.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog called for the ouster of the California Public Utilities Commission over its decision late Monday to extend a $6 billion credit line to Pacific Gas & Electric in an unneeded emergency process that allowed no time for scrutiny. The unprecedented vote makes it easier for PG&E to go into bankruptcy today and avoid accountability to wildfire victims, ratepayers and taxpayers.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that PG&E prematurely filed bankruptcy protection to drive a political bailout of the company and gain leverage over what and when it pays victims of fires it started. Bankruptcy could delay what victims receive from the company for its negligence for years.
Los Angeles, CA -- In a letter to California’s legislative leaders, Consumer Watchdog today wrote that the shocking details of a utility junket in Maui with 12 state lawmakers while wildfires destroyed the state should compel new immediate online disclosures about such trips.
As wildfire victims fled for their lives in Paradise and Malibu this November, utility executives and lobbyists for California's big utilities were wining and dining 12 influential state legislators in a different paradise -- Wailea, Maui.
The New York Times broke the story about the junket and the discussion about the wildfires there, which had to include the the inevitable bailout for the utilities that helped spark the blaze.
Assembly Member Chris Holden is the point man for Pacific Gas and Electric on its legislative bailout plans over the 2018 fires. That's why we paid his holiday party a visit. Watch us sing Chris Holden our holiday carols.
First, we carolers had to convince some beefy Pasadena police that we didn’t come to Assemblyman Chris Holden’s Christmas open house at his district office to disrupt the festivities and dirty up the place (though we did leave a lunch bag of coal behind).
Governor Brown may not have lit the match that set off the recent wild fires in Sonoma and Napa, but he has responsibility for failing to clear the tinder that spread the flames.
Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog today urged the President of the California Public Utilities Commission, Michael Picker, to launch a public investigation of Pacific Gas & Electric’s shutoff of power to thousands of customers in Northern California over the weekend due to high wind advisories.
Sacramento, CA -- Consumer Watchdog released evidence today showing that the co-chairman of the conference committee convened to discuss taking wildfire victims' legal rights rushed witnesses to end a key hearing in order to get to his fundraiser across the street attended by PG&E and other utility lobbyists.
SACRAMENTO, CA—Consumer Watchdog’s President Jamie Court spoke today at a rally of wildfire survivors and urged legislators not to give in to PG&E and the other utilities’ demands to take victims’ rights to hold the companies legally accountable for damage caused by their equipment.
Frank Pitre was presented with the Lifetime Legal Achievement Award at the 2018 Rage For Justice Awards on June 2nd, 2018, at the Beverly Wilshire. His career has been defined by standing up for the unprotected, the vulnerable, the disenfranchised. Here is the tribute video to Frank as well as his acceptance speech.
Sacramento, CA -- In a letter to the 120 members of the California legislature, Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court warned that a bailout of California's three investor owned utilities for causing wildfires would "almost certainly be the greatest disgrace for this legislature since its decision two decades ago to deregulate electricity and turn over our energy supply to the Enron pirates."
"The integrity, duty and reputation of this legislature should outweigh the largess these three utilities have showered upon the members of its houses," Court said.
Corruption can kill.
The fires that laid waste to California’s Wine Country and at least 42 lives were not merely the product of a changing climate and extra-heated winds.
Early reports suggest the failure of Gov. Jerry Brown and his appointees to adequately regulate our public utilities to prevent such fires also fueled the fast-moving flames.