October 14, 2019 / 9:23 PM / a month ago

California governor demands PG&E accountability for mismanaging power shutoffs

Oct 14 (Reuters) - California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday that Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E) should be held accountable for mismanaging last week’s power shutoffs and urged the company to provide credits or rebates to affected customers.

PG&E had imposed a string of planned power outages of unprecedented scale to reduce wildfire risks posed by extremely windy, dry weather that left more than 730,000 homes and workplaces in northern California without power.

Newsom also said he sent a letter to California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer, confirming that the agency will be conducting a comprehensive inquiry and review of PG&E's planning, implementation and decision-making process failures. (bit.ly/35zARTI)

“Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” Newsom said. “We will continue to hold PG&E accountable to make radical changes – prioritizing the safety of Californians and modernizing its equipment.”

Newsom also urged the company to provide affected customers an automatic credit or rebate of $100 per residential customer and $250 per small business as compensation.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing potential civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion from major wildfires linked to its transmission wires and other equipment.

Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru

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