Press Release

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By Bay City News / KQED 

Under new state legislation announced Tuesday, California's attorney general and local district attorneys would be able to pursue legal action against utility companies that violate safety regulations.

Introduced by a group of Bay Area legislators, in partnership with Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, the Utility Accountability and Wildfire Prevention Act is an effort to hold utilities like PG&E accountable for safely maintaining their infrastructure and properly trimming vegetation near power lines to reduce the threat of wildfire.

Currently, that oversight role falls squarely on the California Public Utilities Commission, and if a utility is suspected of violating regulations, local authorities must seek redress through that agency.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By George Avalos / Bay Area News Group

Utility suffers $3.6 billion fourth-quarter loss, $3.8 billion in wildfire expenses

PG&E posted a $3.62 billion loss for the final three months of 2019, but the embattled utility said Tuesday it’s on track to emerge from a bankruptcy quagmire linked to its liabilities for a string of lethal wildfires.

Tucked away in its multiple disclosures related to its financial results was the revelation of a new plan to spend $37 billion to $41 billion over the next five years in “infrastructure investments.”

It’s possible that this additional spending could unleash PG&E requests for state regulators to approve higher monthly gas and electricity bills.

For all of 2019, PG&E lost $7.66 billion, the company stated in its earnings report for the October-through-December quarter.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By Bay City News / NBC Bay Area 

The Utility Accountability and Wildfire Prevention Act of 2020 would hold utility companies accountable when their equipment is found to have started a wildfire.

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.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

by Julia Baum / Pleasanton Weekly

Assembly Bill 2356 would empower local district attorneys to act against electrical corporations

Tri-Valley lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would allow the state and local prosecutors to take action against electric power companies that fail to comply with safety regulations.

Known as "The Utility Accountability and Wildfire Prevention Act of 2020," Assembly Bill 2356 was authored by Tri-Valley Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) and Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), among other state officials, to give local authorities the same enforcement mechanisms that are employed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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.