Pay up!

The California Public Utilities Commission has penalized Pacific Gas and Electric $125 million for violations related to the 2019 Kincade Fire that burned more than 77,000 acres and caused the evacuation of about 185,000 residents north of Santa Rosa, California…The fire started October 23 northeast of Geyserville, California and destroyed 374 structures…

The settlement agreed to last week requires that PG&E shareholders pay a $40 million fine to the state. The company will also not raise rates to cover the $85 million cost for permanent removal of abandoned transmission facilities, bringing the total fines and penalties to $125 million.

The company was charged with five felonies and 28 misdemeanors, including “unlawfully causing a fire that resulted in great bodily injury, unlawfully causing a fire that resulted in the burning of inhabited structures, and unlawfully causing a fire that resulted in the burning of forest land, as well as various air pollution crimes,” according to the District Attorney’s office.

PG&E equipment faults and failures caused at least 1500 fires in recent years. Does the term “public safety” ever enter into the minds of bureaucrats?

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