Senator Jim Nielsen, who is a Republican from Tehama, also represents Paradise where 85 people died as a result of the Camp Fire. He's not happy with the Pacific Gas & Electric's so-called Public Safety Power Shutoff.
That planned outage began just after midnight on Wednesday, affecting about 510,000 customers across 20 Northern California counties. PG&E announced early in the afternoon that they would delay a second phase of outages for two of the largest Bay Area counties until the evening hours on Wednesday. Another 234,000 customers in 12 more counties will be left in the dark as a result.
"PG&E’s massive power shutoff is unacceptable. This policy has to change. PG&E's decision to protect itself from liability at the expense of hardworking Californians will not be tolerated," said Nielsen in a prepared statement. "This disregards people's livelihoods. We depend on electricity to live and earn a living."
The affected counties include parts of Lake, Marin, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Alameda, Contra Costa, Mendocino, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. A third phase of outages is being considered and will depend on changing weather conditions.
"This ham-fisted policy by PG&E appears to be nothing more than a very selfish approach to protecting corporate interests at the expense of customers who cannot shop elsewhere for this vital utility - electricity," Nieslen said. "This Legislature must rigorously examine whether PG&E is capable of responsibly delivering reliable, safe electricity to its rate-paying customers."