PG&E Inspections Of Equipment That Sparked Deadly Camp Fire Were Flawed, State Regulators Say

By Hailey Branson-Potts & Maria L. La Ganga, LOS ANGELES TIMES

December 3, 2019

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-12-02/pge-camp-fire-equip…

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.

PG&E Spent $876,445 On Lobbying From Jan. 1 To June 30 - After Spending Nearly $10 Million In 2018

By Dan Bacher, INDYBAY MEDIA

October 31, 2019

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/10/31/18827743.php

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.

Wildfire Legislation On Track or Train Wreck?

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.

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.

Watchdog: PUC Must Go After Giving $6 Billion Credit Line To PG&E Pre-Bankruptcy, Raising Rates

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.

Consumer Watchdog: PG&E is No Victim, Governor Newsom Should Appoint Tough Regulator

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.

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. 

Beholden Chris Holden’s Big Utility Tent

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).

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.

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.

Frank Pitre takes on PG&E

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. 

Frank Pitre

 

Consumer Watchdog Warns CA Legislators New Utility Bailout Will Leave Gray Davis Stain 

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.

Failure to adequately regulate utilities helped fuel CA wildfires

Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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.