By Bay City News Service / SF Gate
A group of state legislators and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announced the introduction of a bill Tuesday that would give the state attorney general and local district attorneys the power to reprimand utility companies for failure to comply with safety regulations.
Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, and Sens. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, and Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, introduced the Utility Accountability and Wildfire Prevention Act of 2020 in an effort to hold utility companies like PG&E accountable when their equipment is found to have started a wildfire due to improper safety practices.
Currently, only the California Public Utilities Commission has a similar authority.
The group of legislators argued that while climate change is partially to blame for recent deadly fires across the state, utility equipment has also played a part in the severity of disasters like the Camp Fire.