Plea to end PG&E

“These past few nights I’ve been unable to sleep and I know many of my fellow Sonoma County natives feel the same,” said Alina Robello, a Santa Rosa resident. “Tonight is the same. I cannot sleep.”

Whether PG&E is responsible for the newest disaster, the Kincade fire, it does not excuse this company of their grievances and wrongdoings violating state and federal laws. PG&E should be broken up for their failure to secure a resilient power grid in California. 

Of the 21 major wildfires that burned through the golden state in 2017, PG&E sparked at least 17 of them according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Already burdened with billions in debt, their reckless malpractices continued to spark havoc the following year, when Paradise lit aflame in the Camp Fire. Officially the deadliest wildfire in state history, the Camp Fire caused 85 fatalities and 17 injuries.

The culprit was the company’s decades-old transmission line and the failure to repair or replace it, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation. The investigation concluded that the company originally planned to fix the aging equipment in 2013, but continually pushed the project off.

“They [PG&E] have simply been caught red-handed over and over again, lying, manipulating or misleading the public,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said to the New York Times.

San Diego Gas and Electric, which Newsom applauded, have only had to cut power to 52,000 of its customers in the past six years. PG&E cut power to 700,000 of its customers in an Oct. 9 shutdown alone in comparison. In terms of pure capitalistic competition, our hometown company is the runt of the gas and electric litter.

A smart state government would disband a company responsible for 111 deaths over the last decade. California needs to be that government, right now. 

“May God protect all of us in this difficult situation! Stay informed and take care of yourself,” said Santa Rosa resident Blanca Descalzo.