PG&E quietly declared a ‘safe business’ by the Gavin Newsom administration after starting multiple California wildfires

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Newsom administration quietly recertified PG&E as a “safe” company — despite officials blaming the utility company for the wildfires.

The news comes as former victims of the PG&E wildfires have lost money because they were partly paid in company stock.

Activists on Governor Gavin Newsom’s left have watched, and they don’t like what they’re seeing: They’ve seen Newsom win office with more than $200,000 of PG&E campaign money.

RELATED: PG&E Power Lines Started Massive Dixie Fire in Northern California, Officials Say

Three days after the election, they watched PG&E burn down Paradise, leading to 85 felony convictions, and they watched the governor sign AB 1054, the law that saved PG&E from bankruptcy.

This law is why the group “Reclaim Our Power” set up a Zoom call:

Here’s what they mean:

Arson investigators recently announced that PG&E started the Dixie Fire, burning nearly a million acres last year.

They don’t think he was innocent – they handed him over to prosecutors for possible criminal charges.

RELATED: 5 Northern California Counties Sue PG&E Over Deadly Dixie Fire

Even so, PG&E already plans to raise $150 million from a state insurance fund to help pay for the damage caused by the Dixie fire.

PG&E can operate this fund because last year it had an official state security certificate.

Created by AB 1054 – the law which Governor Gavin Newsom not only signed – but which our investigation shows his office paid to have written.

These activists were pressuring the governor to reject this year’s security certificate for PG&E by next week’s deadline.

“We have requested a meeting with Governor Newsom and his core team will be meeting with us next week,” said Mari Rose Taruc of Reclaim Our Power.

But unbeknownst to them, the Newsom administration had already quietly approved PG&E’s security certificate.

Just before the zoom meeting, we found it on the administration site.

“This is news for us, and terrible, terrible news,” said Pete Woiwode of Reclaim Our Power.

RELATED: Dixie Fire Explodes to Size Larger Than Los Angeles, California State’s 3rd Largest in History

The group asks the governor to reconsider.

According to them, it is not enough to spend money on fire prevention.

In the meantime, an update on that: Governor Newsom walked away last year when we asked about PG&E’s settlement with former wildfire victims.

They were partly paid for in PG&E stock – which never sold as much as advertised.

RELATED: PG&E Tests AI Cameras to Spot Wildfires in Northern California

And, it became official.

The Trust Fund for Victims sold its first shares – for $80 million less than the amount victims were supposed to expect. In Sacramento, I’m Brandon Rittiman.>

We asked the governor’s office again if it would help heal these victims and if the administration would reconsider the security certificate issued to PG&E this week.

The Newsom administration says the certificate is valid for 12 months – and that doesn’t mean PG&E has taken “everything possible” to avoid starting more fires.

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