Could A Power Company Face Charges For CA Wildfires?

Paradis Calif. Wildfire

During the worst of the California wildfires in 2018, Jeff talked with reporters about the role that a California power company might have played in igniting the fires.  Now, that company may face criminal charges.

And I mean SERIOUS charges.  California power company PG&E could face MURDER charges over recent wildfires in the state.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed court papers saying serious charges could be leveled against PG&E if they're found to have caused the fires and acted negligently in operating their equipment.

For their part, the utility released a statement saying, in part, “PG&E’s most important responsibility is public and workforce safety. Our focus continues to be on assessing our infrastructure to further enhance safety and helping our customers continue to recover and rebuild. Throughout our service area, we are committed to doing everything we can to help further reduce the risk of wildfire.”

Last week, a federal judge said the company had to determine if it played a role in causing the Camp Fire, which left 88 people dead in Northern California. Documents shared last month showed that PG&E acknowledged that its equipment may have ignited the Camp Fire.

By the way, the company is ALREADY on probation in a criminal case involving a gas pipeline blast that killed eight people in 2010.

That said, I first read this story and had concerns that this was similar to attempts to make gun companies responsible for shootings or restaurants responsible for customers who drive drunk.  BUT the key words are "acted negligently."  There must be irresponsible behavior on the part of the utility that is demonstrable.

Stay tuned.

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