For Immediate Release
July 11, 2019
Sacramento—Now that both houses of the California Legislature have passed AB1054, a far reaching ratepayer bailout for investor-owned utilities, it goes to Governor Newsom who is expected to sign it by tomorrow. The governor and state legislators jammed this bill through without adequate time for public review or comment. San Francisco Assembly members David Chiu and Phil Ting were among the few votes against the bill, which would make it harder for the city to acquire PG&E’s power lines and create a municipal utility.
In response to efforts to use wildfire protections to enact sweeping electricity reforms that leave customers on the hook for billions, Food & Water Watch California State Director Alexandra Nagy had this statement:
“Moving faster than a wildfire across the Sierra Nevada, the legislature and Governor Newsom rushed through the bill before the public knew what hit them. AB 1054 weakens PUC oversight, while virtually guaranteeing that our electric bills will go up, since ratepayers are left holding the bag for billions in bonds and future wildfire costs.
“Capping utility shareholder liability while expecting ratepayers to write a blank check for future wildfires is not a wildfire policy California needs.
“Instead of listening to utility lobbyists, Governor Newsom should offer the option of a public takeover of PG&E to ensure that safety and affordability are top priority, not the utility’s bottom line. We urge him to rethink his support for the wildfire bailout and craft a real plan to protect Californians and ratepayers from future wildfire risks.
“As the dust clears on this bill, one thing is clear, Governor Newsom can get things done and get them done quickly when he wants to. The Governor should stop dragging his feet on his campaign promise of closing Aliso Canyon, something he does not even need legislative approval to do.”
Contact: Julie Light, 510-992-4083, [email protected]
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