Moving beyond business as usual to a resilient power system for California

by John Sarter, Utility Dive

Before California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), announced it would file for bankruptcy, a bill was proposed in the state legislature that would exempt the utility from any liability for last year’s tragic fires. Apparently, the bailout the utility received for the 2017 firestorms did not apply to 2018, so PG&E was facing a new set of legal challenges.

However, the proposed bill doesn’t solve the underlying problem of our outdated energy system. We need a bill that mandates a true solution — benefiting the utility, California ratepayers and residents who are at risk of future catastrophic fires.

If PG&E were proactively making concerted efforts to rebuild in more resilient ways, the proposed bill might make sense. But instead, the utility continues to rebuild the same infrastructure that is creating these disasters in the first place — bringing to mind the old definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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