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  • Calif blackouts kill the futures of Newsom and Kamala (and destroy Jerry Brown's rep too)

    10/30/2019 7:59:48 PM PDT · by rintintin · 52 replies
    Oct 30 2019 | rintintin
    The PG&E power transmission system has been allowed to decay (or hasn't been upgraded) so it can't withstand high winds without possibly causing fires. That's why electricity has had to be turned out for millions of Californians during the recent high-wind events. Who was in power over the past decade, as the electricity system has been allowed to languish, without adequate modernization and safety upgrades? Jerry Brown was governor from 2011 to 2019. Kamala Harris was attorney general during the same period. Gavin Newsom was mayor of San Francisco, PG&E's largest municipal customer. None of these powerful politicians did anything...
  • California Can’t Keep the Lights On

    10/29/2019 7:53:29 AM PDT · by karpov · 46 replies
    National Review ^ | October 29, 2019 | Rich Lowry
    California is staying true to its reputation as the land of innovation — it is making blackouts, heretofore the signature of impoverished and war-torn lands, a routine feature of 21st-century American life. More than 2 million people are going without power in Northern and Central California, in the latest and biggest of the intentional blackouts that are, astonishingly, California’s best answer to the risk of runaway wildfires. Power — and all the goods it makes possible — is synonymous with modern civilization. It shouldn’t be a negotiable for anyone living in a well-functioning society, or even in California, which, despite...
  • California regulator to probe whether utility companies broke rules by shutting [tr]

    10/29/2019 9:14:32 AM PDT · by C19fan · 35 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | October 29, 2019 | Andrew Court
    California regulators say they will open a formal probe into whether utilities companies violated any rules by cutting power to millions of residents as a precaution during recent periods of high winds and heightened wildfire risks. The announcement on Monday did not single out any utilities by name, but the bulk of 'public safety power shut-offs' under scrutiny were implemented by Pacific Gas and Electric Co, a unit of PG&E Corp, California's largest investor-owned utility. PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January, citing $30 billion in civil liability from major wildfires sparked by its equipment in 2017 and 2018, including last...
  • California Governor Wants Warren Buffet To Buy PG&E Because Of Blackouts

    10/29/2019 7:18:57 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 33 replies
    Hotair ^ | 10/29/2019 | Jazz Shaw
    California’s Governor Gavin Newsom is starting to sound disturbingly more and more like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (More on that in a moment.) As we recently discussed, Pacific Gas & Electric has continued to impose rounds of blackouts across “red flag” areas of the state under warnings of high winds and possible wildfires. This has many residents feeling rather angry and demanding that something is done. To the rescue rides Governor Newsom. He doesn’t want the aging power lines to cause any more fires but he also doesn’t want his voters upset over having their power cut off.What...
  • Gov. Newsom calls for Warren Buffett to buy PG&E as widespread power shutoffs continue

    10/28/2019 7:05:23 AM PDT · by outpostinmass2 · 67 replies
    Sacromento Bee ^ | 10/27/19 | Hana Wiley and Dale Kasler
    Calls to transition the troubled Pacific Gas and Electric Co. into a public utility intensified Sunday, as nearly 1 million customers lost power throughout California and the Kincade Fire blazed through Sonoma County. A day earlier, Gov. Gavin Newsom told Bloomberg he would encourage Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to make a bid for PG&E. “We would love to see that interest materialize, in a more proactive, public effort,” he said Saturday. Berkshire Hathaway’s energy subsidiary is heavily invested in the utility business, in California and elsewhere. It owns multiple solar farms, including a 550-megawatt facility in San Luis Obispo County...
  • PG&E stock plunges to record low after Citi warns it could be worthless

    10/28/2019 6:43:03 AM PDT · by Eccl 10:2 · 50 replies
    Marketwatch ^ | PG&E stock plunges to record low after Citi warns it could be worthless
    Shares of PG&E Corp. plummeted on heavy volume to a record low Friday, after Citigroup warned that the latest California wildfire, which the utility may have helped start, could render them worthless. PG&E PCG-28.5% said Friday that it filed an incident report with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regarding the “Kincade” fire, which broke out near Geyserville in Sonoma County.
  • Live Coverage of Kincaide Fire in Northern California

    10/27/2019 1:25:17 PM PDT · by abigkahuna · 53 replies
    KTVU Television ^ | 10.27.2019 | LIVE KTVU
    For those that may be interested, here is live coverage of the fire/s in Northern Californa. 180 thousand people have been evacuated. More evacuations are being called for. WInds peaked out with gusts at 93 mph. https://www.ktvu.com/live
  • PG&E CEO Says It Could Impose Blackouts in California for a Decade

    10/18/2019 4:42:30 PM PDT · by karpov · 48 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | October 18, 2019 | Katherine Blunt
    PG&E Corp.’s chief executive said Friday that it could take as long as 10 years for the company to improve its electric system enough to significantly diminish the need to pull the plug on customers to reduce the risk of sparking fires. Bill Johnson, who joined the company in May, made the disclosure at a California Public Utilities Commission hearing where the panel’s president, Marybel Batjer, sharply criticized the company’s “inadequate execution” of a shut-off in which it turned off power to large portions of Northern California for more than two days last week. The commission convened an emergency meeting...
  • Pulling the Plug on PG&E

    10/16/2019 6:54:15 AM PDT · by C19fan · 45 replies
    The Nation ^ | October 15, 2019 | Johanna Bozuwa
    Earlier this month, nearly 2 million Californians were hurt by a “planned” power shutoff by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), a private utility company. The shutoff was part of a botched wildfire management strategy to prevent transmission lines neglected by the company for years from catching fire. Customers received only 24 hours’ notice for a shutoff that lasted up to four days, during which grocery stores sat empty, cleared of basic supplies, and schools were closed. The residents of Paradise, California, displaced just one year ago by massive fires that destroyed their town and killed dozens, found themselves without electricity...
  • Gavin Newsom demands PG&E pay $100 to each customer affected by California blackouts

    10/14/2019 4:07:48 PM PDT · by Mariner · 81 replies
    The Sacramento Bee ^ | October 14th, 2019 | By Bryan Anderson
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants PG&E to give $100 to each of the hundreds of thousands of customers who experienced blackouts last week when the company shut off power to swaths of Northern California. “Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” Newsom announced on Monday. “PG&E’s mismanagement of the power shutoffs experienced last week was unacceptable. We will continue to hold PG&E accountable to make radical changes – prioritizing the safety of Californians and modernizing its equipment.” In a letter to the state’s Public Utilities Commission on Monday, Newsom confirmed that the state would...
  • ‘I’m Out’: PG&E Blackouts Stagger Californians

    10/14/2019 5:59:41 AM PDT · by karpov · 106 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 13, 2019 8:12 pm ET | Zusha Elinson, Ian Lovett, Alejandro Lazo and Jim Carlton
    ... California residents have come face-to-face with an uncomfortable new reality: Large swaths of the state—by itself the fifth-largest economy in the world, and home to the globe’s most technologically advanced companies—may be subject to the sort of abrupt blackouts normally associated with underdeveloped countries. The state’s three big investor-owned utilities now have regulatory permission to cut off power to parts of their service territories during strong winds to reduce the risk of their electric lines causing wildfires, after at least 21 blazes linked to utility equipment killed more than 100 people and burned tens of thousands of homes in...
  • ‘This Did Not Go Well’: Inside PG&E’s Blackout Control Room

    10/13/2019 6:59:58 AM PDT · by janetjanet998 · 121 replies
    AN FRANCISCO — It was a problem that California had come to dread. Weather models were signaling extreme winds and dry conditions from one end of the state to the other. The risk of wildfires was high. Pacific Gas & Electric, the giant utility whose power lines and transformers have been blamed for a series of disastrous wildfires in recent years, was determined to prevent another one. Just before last weekend, the company informed state officials that it might shut off power to a large area of Northern California, potentially leaving millions of people in the dark — something no...
  • PG&E power outage begins 2nd night

    10/09/2019 7:31:30 PM PDT · by jcon40 · 113 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | Tony Bizjak
    Pacific Gas & Electric Co. shut down power to 500,000 homes and business – an estimated 2-million-plus Northern California residents – creating the largest blackout in state history. The move, designed as a massive defensive tactic to avoid wildfires amid high winds, created confusion, consternation and angry responses from both the public and public officials.
  • California's PG&E cuts power to more than 1M residents to prevent wildfires

    10/09/2019 10:53:40 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 105 replies
    FOX Business ^ | October 9, 2019
    Pacific Gas & Electric, California’s biggest utility company, shut off electricity to more than 1 million people on Wednesday in an effort to prevent wildfires caused by downed power lines. The utility said it cut power to more than 500,000 customers in Northern California and that it plans to gradually turn off electricity to nearly 800,000 customers to prevent its equipment from starting wildfires during hot, windy weather. A second group of about 234,000 customers will lose power starting at noon, the utility said. The power outages are expected to affect about 2.5 million people. The utility plans to shut...
  • California utility proactively cuts power because of weather

    06/09/2019 9:17:09 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 61 replies
    Associated Press ^ | June 9, 2019
    Pacific Gas & Electric implemented a controversial practice of cutting power to selected portions of Northern California on Saturday to guard against wildfires as the weather turned very windy, dry and hot. Electricity was turned off around 6 a.m. to 1,600 customers in parts Napa, Solano and Yolo counties. Just as that shutdown was called off, the utility warned 27,000 customers in Butte, Yuba, Nevada, El Dorado and Placer counties that their power would be cut from 9 p.m. through Sunday morning. The end of the earlier shutdown was announced around 4 p.m., and the utility said power would be...
  • PG&E’s Radical Plan to Prevent Wildfires: Shut Down the Power Grid

    05/12/2019 10:33:41 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 58 replies
    WSJ ^ | 4/27/19 | Russell Gold and Katherine Blunt
    When dangerously high winds arise this year, the utility says it will black out fire-prone areas that are home to 5.4 million people PG&E Corp. can’t prevent its power lines from sparking the kinds of wildfires that have killed scores of Californians. So instead, it plans to pull the plug on a giant swath of the state’s population. No U.S. utility has ever blacked out so many people on purpose. PG&E says it could knock out power to as much as an eighth of the state’s population for as long as five days when dangerously high winds arise. Communities likely...
  • California May Go Dark This Summer, and Most Aren't Ready

    05/13/2019 2:26:24 PM PDT · by libstripper · 70 replies
    Bloomberg via Outline ^ | May 13, 2019 | Mark Chediak & Brian Eckhouse
    <p>A plan by California’s biggest utility to cut power on high-wind days during the onrushing wildfire season could plunge millions of residents into darkness. And the vast majority isn’t ready for it.</p> <p>The plan by PG&E Corp. comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts.</p>
  • Insolvent California wants to nationalize bankrupt PG&E

    02/15/2019 7:04:59 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 54 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 02/15/2019 | Chriss Street
    Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the insolvent State of California is putting together a "Strike Team" that could move to nationalize the assets of the bankrupt PG&E utility. Newsom told lawmakers in his State of the State speech, "We're facing hard decisions that are coming due."  In his first month in office, Newsom has been dealing with a $7-billion tax shortfall since December, $1 trillion in unfunded public employee pensions, President Trump threatening to withhold $9 billion in wildfire aid, and cancelation of the state's $98.1-billion high-speed rail boondoggle. div class="article_body bottom mrf-hidden"> Undeterred by the tsunami of grim financial challenges, the wildly progressive rookie governor trumpeted that he...
  • PG&E stock crashes nearly 50% as utility says it will file for bankruptcy because of wildfires [tr]

    01/14/2019 7:51:24 AM PST · by C19fan · 46 replies
    CNBC ^ | January 14, 2018 | Thomas Franck
    PG&E Corp. stock cratered Monday after the company said it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid the financial anguish stemming from its part in helping spark a wave of historic wildfires in California. Shares of the company dropped nearly 50 percent in early trading Monday, one day after the company said Chief Executive Geisha Williams was stepping down. The company provided the official 15-day advance notice that it and its wholly owned subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric, intend to file petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on or about Jan. 29.
  • PG&E control-room operator: 'We're screwed'

    03/08/2011 10:28:51 AM PST · by SmithL · 36 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 3/8/11 | Eric Nalder, Chronicle Staff Writer
    A "screwed-up" repair project at a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. control station in Milpitas caused pressure levels to rise on all the natural gas transmission lines serving the Peninsula just 50 minutes before the San Bruno pipeline exploded, newly released federal documents show. The repair project set in motion a chain of unforeseen problems and blunders leading up to the Sept. 9 explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes, records released by the National Transportation Safety Board show. Electricity was cut off to equipment that controls gas pressure in the Peninsula pipelines, two backup power supplies failed...