California's Largest Utility Aims To Bury 10K Miles Of Power Lines to Prevent Fires

By Kyle Barnett, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

July 22, 2021

The largest utility in California is planning to bury 10,000 miles of power lines in an effort to prevent fires in the drought-stricken state.

Pacific Gas & Electric said the move is intended to "further harden its system" to prevent accidental outbreaks of wildfires. Several fires in California have been attributed to PG&E equipment over the years.

PG&E’s Plan To Bury Thousands Of Miles Of Lines For Fire Prevention Could Exceed $15 Billion

By Sonseeahary Tonsall, Eric Rucker, Ian McDonald, KXTL FOX TV-40, Sacramento, CA

July 21, 2021

https://fox40.com/news/wildfire-watch/pge-announces-plan-to-bury-thousa…

CHICO, Calif. (KTXL) — Pacific Gas and Electric announced on Wednesday that it plans to bury 10,000 miles of lines in parts of the state with higher fire danger.

California Insurance Commissioner’s Wildfire Working Group Embraces Insurance Industry Wish List at Expense of Consumers and Taxpayers

Los Angeles, CA -- A group convened by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to investigate insurance-related climate change solutions is recommending he let insurance companies insert secret models into ratemaking, a top deregulatory priority of the industry in California.  
 

KGO ABC TV-7 San Francisco, CA: 'Catastrophic Model' Could Be Used To Set Your Fire Insurance Rates

Column: As Focus Turned To Coronavirus Crisis, Insurers Pushed For A Sneaky Rate Hike On Homeowners

By Michael Hiltzik, LOS ANGELES TIMES

June 19, 2020

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-06-19/insurers-coronavirus-…

It’s fair to say that most Americans see the coronavirus pandemic as an enormous and fearsome burden.

Not the insurance industry. In California, the industry is using the crisis to bring about a sneaky change in insurance rules that could lead to massive increases in homeowner premiums.

Insurance Industry Pushes Legislation to Increase Homeowners Insurance Rates, Derail Public Protections Against Price Gouging, in Guise of Wildfire Response

Los Angeles, CA — While the rest of the state is sheltering at home, lobbyists for the insurance industry are busy promoting legislation, scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, that would allow them to boost insurance rates on homeowners and renters.

Californians in High Fire Risk Areas Facing Increased Rates and Non-Renewals

Watchdog Says Insurance Commissioner Lara Is Not Doing Everything In His Power To Help Homeowners Dealing With Wildfire Insurance

Advocates Call for Withdrawal of Insurance Commissioner Lara’s Bill to Give Insurers & Wall Street Blank Check From CA Taxpayers

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said legislation sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and scheduled for a vote Wednesday would needlessly expose California taxpayers to the same kind of complex and risky financial instruments that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

The bill would allow the state to purchase insurance and other financial products with none of the usual state oversight, including insurance regulation by Commissioner Lara’s own Department of Insurance and procurement rules at the Department of General Services.

Consumer Watchdog: Victims, Taxpayers and Ratepayers Shouldn’t Be Forced To Pay For Felon’s Negligence Under PG&E Bailout Plan

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.

Maui Utilities’ Junket While Paradise Burned Should Spark New Rules For Real-time Disclosure of Lawmaker Trips

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 Paradise Burned, 12 Legislators Partied In Maui With Utility Execs & Lobbyists

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. 

California Public Utility Commission Urged To Investigate PG&E and Other Utilities For Blackouts And To Require A Specific Threat Before Shutdowns

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.

Consumer Watchdog To Insurance Companies: Stop Underwriting Fossil Fuel Projects That Exacerbate Fires And Hurricanes

San Francisco, CA – The nonprofit consumer group responsible for the most effective regulation of the insurance industry in America said today it would be challenging America’s insurance companies to join their European counterparts in refusing to underwrite coal and fossil fuel projects.

Senator Dodd Busted Shutting Down Wildfire Hearings To Rush To Fundraiser With Utility Lobbyists

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.

Wildfires Should Ignite Crackdown on State Farm To Be Better Neighbor

The wildfires devastating Bel Air, Ventura and Southern California's canyons are destroying homes in their path. Unfortunately, many of those homeowners are going to find that when they try to rebuild their homeowners' policies may not cover the real costs.

It's a sad cycle that happens after too many wildfires, include the historic devastation fires wrought recently in Sonoma and Napa Valley.