"Regulators Rebuke PG&E For Neglect In Reducing Wildfire Risk"

"SAN RAMON, Calif. — California regulators are stepping up their oversight of Pacific Gas & Electric after finding that the nation’s largest utility has neglected the maintenance of an electrical grid that has ignited a series of deadly wildfires in Northern California and forced periodic blackouts affecting millions of people.

The reprimand delivered Thursday in an unanimous vote of California’s Public Utilities Commission served as official notice to PG&E that it hasn’t been doing enough to reduce the risks from a combination of crumbling equipment and overgrown trees susceptible to toppling into nearby power lines.

It marks the first step in a process that could eventually lead to regulators revoking PG&E’s utility license as part of a deal worked out last year while the company was in bankruptcy. That act of financial desperation was triggered by PG&E’s role in a series of 2017 and 2018 wildfires that killed more than 100 people and destroyed more than 27,000 buildings."

Michael Liedtke reports for the Associated Press April 15, 2021.

Source: AP, 04/16/2021