Let Them Sit In The Dark

On January 1, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E–the big power company in central and northern California) rates went up 13% for power, adding an extra $33 a month to the average family’s bill. And that’s not the end of it: if approved, rates could go up $100 a month by the end of the year. The extra costs will go to bury power lines and to other wildfire mitigation efforts. Why wasn’t this done sooner? It might have prevented the catastrophic explosion they caused in 2010. And what about the major wildfires in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 that were sparked by power lines?  PG&E has been responsible for more than 30 wildfires since 2017 that wiped out more than 23,000 homes and businesses and killed more than 100 people.

Why weren’t these steps done earlier? At more reasonable costs, and without all the damage and destruction? And why is it us, the people who need the power to live and go about our day to day lives, who are expected to pick up the tab? And why is it that tens of thousands of people in California still face regular power outages forced on them during storms? What are people being forced to pay more for? In the end, these rate hikes aren’t about better service. The rate hikes are just the latest attempt by PG&E to raise executives’ pay and stuff shareholders pockets with profits. PG&E must be held accountable and not be allowed to raise our rates. Their poor decisions are what made them have to spend more money for safety in the first place. Why should we have to sit in the dark to pay for their negligence?