Stop the Second PG&E Bailout!
State Senator Scott Wiener
This bill has passed the Senate Energy Committee. It is now on to the Assembly.
My name is __________. I am a constituent, and my zip code is _______. I am a member of Indivisible SF.
I'm calling to ask Senator Wiener to vote NO on AB 1054. This bill is a rushed second bailout of PG&E that gives them permission by default to pass liability costs on to ratepayers, rather than having to bear the costs of mismanagement themselves.
Can I count on Senator Wiener to vote NO on AB 1054 this week?
PG&E is now notorious for poor maintenance contributing to dangerous conditions that have sparked wildfires such as last year’s Camp Fire that razed Paradise, California.
PG&E already received one bailout from the California Legislature in the form of a law that enables them to pass liability costs on to ratepayers (that’s us). Now Gov. Newsom and Asm. Chris Holden (Pasadena) want to give them another bailout—and they’re rushing it through by July 12 so they can get it passed before summer recess, rather than giving such an important bill time to be considered by the ratepaying public.
Scott Wiener is on the California Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, and will likely vote on this bill on Monday in committee and potentially again later in the week.
Gov. Newsom’s proposal is to create a “Wildfire Fund” to cover costs incurred by wildfires sparked by electrical equipment.
The fund is to be seeded by a mix of equity from utility companies, $10.5 billion in bonds from the Department of Water Resources, and a $2.50/month charge on your utility bill that already exists and would be extended.
Currently, when a utility’s equipment is involved in a wildfire, the utility must prove affirmatively that it did not contribute to the disaster.
Under AB 1054, utility companies would receive a “safety certification” every year by meeting some basic, ground-floor requirements. Then, a utility so certified is not liable by default, and victims of a disaster would need to organize to show the utility’s liability.
This means you would pay for wildfires caused by utilities’ malfunctioning or ill-maintained equipment, not the utilities that are supposed to maintain and properly operate that equipment.
We have to stop letting PG&E off the hook for mismanagement. They got one bailout already—no more!
Info and call script from Our City: https://web.archive.org/web/20190708024114/http://our-city.org/events/index.html
Bloomberg article on Gov. Newsom’s proposal: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/california-governor-pitching-wildfire-fund-184311336.html
Opinion piece in Sonoma Index-Tribune: https://www.sonomanews.com/opinion/9758960-181/california-focus-is-newsom-plan
Commentary in CALMatters, including background on the origin of this proposal: https://calmatters.org/articles/commentary/pge-hedge-fund/