Senator McGuire’s Statement regarding today’s Public Utilities Commission hearing on Public Safety Power Shutoffs

Friday, October 18, 2019

Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire, whose district has been ravaged by massive fires and heavily impacted by power shutoffs, released the following statement regarding today’s emergency California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) meeting to hear responses from Pacific Gas & Electric leadership about the issues and concerns raised during and after last week’s Public Safety Power Shutoff.

“It’s beyond time to hold PG&E accountable. There is no greater challenge in front of the CPUC than their role as regulator of this privately-owned utility that has again proven it lacks the basic fundamentals to successfully execute such a large and complex planned outage. 

“This is the third strike for PG&E – the first was the San Bruno explosion and cover-up, the second was the massive wildfires of 2017 and 2018, and strike three is the debacle of a response to these power shutoffs. PG&E has become too big and has failed us too many times. All options need to be on the table – including breaking up the utility.

“This is an all-hands on deck effort, and the Senate will advance solutions and protections in the coming weeks and months. The CPUC will need to take immediate action and advance desperately needed reforms on grid safety improvements, hardening and modernization and to ensure PG&E keeps its word to its customers about keeping them safe if and when a power shutoff is needed in extreme weather conditions.”

The Senate has created a policy working group that Senator McGuire will co-chair with Senator Susan Rubio to work on wildfire related concerns including insurance, power shutoffs and wildfire resiliency.