Critics ask what took PG&E so long on wildfire safety effort
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. is promising to spend more than $2 billion this year to improve wildfire prevention after its equipment was blamed for causing more than 1,500 Northern California wildfires since 2014.
Lawyers, industry watchdogs and a federal judge alike wonder: What took so long? They question the utility’s sincerity in the face of decades-long record linked to wildfires.
The advocacy group The Utility Reform Network and a lawyer representing hundreds of wildfire victims suing PG&E expressed skepticism on Thursday after PG&E submitted its proposed safety plan to regulators. Attorney Frank Pitre says PG&E has historically accepted high risks in its electrical operations.
PG&E says it isn’t waiting for regulatory approval and has already begun implementing enhanced safety measures meant to reduce the number of wildfires if causes.