Tree Frog Forestry News

Judge proposes ordering Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to shut off power for wildfires

By Sudhin Thanawala
Associated Press in
January 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO — To prevent wildfires, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. should re-inspect its entire electric grid and cut off power during certain wind conditions regardless of the inconvenience to customers or loss of profit, a U.S. judge proposed Wednesday. Judge William Alsup said in a court order his goal was to prevent the utility from causing any wildfires in the 2019 fire season. “This will likely mean having to interrupt service during high-wind events (and possibly at other times) but that inconvenience…will pale by comparison to the death and destruction that otherwise might result from PG&E-inflicted wildfires,” Alsup said. He gave PG&E until Jan. 23 to respond to his proposal. PG&E said it was reviewing Alsup’s order. …The judge is also considering ordering the utility during the 2019 wildfire season to supply electricity only to those parts of its electrical grid it has determined to be safe under wind conditions at the time.

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