California governor says ‘greed’ to blame for power outage
An angry California Gov. Gavin Newsom slammed the state’s largest utility over its power shutoffs, saying they’re the result of years of mismanagement and greed.
Pacific Gas <><><><><><><><> <><><><><><><><> <><><><>& Electric intentionally cut power to almost 800,000 customers in Northernstrong /strongCalifornia on Wednesday to prevent wildfires caused by high winds downing live power equipment — a process the utility had a href=”https://www.pge.com/pge_global/common/pdfs/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/Wildfire-Safety-Plan.pdf” target=”_blank”warned they’d be more aggressive about/a this year. While the company has since restored power for many affected areas, about 84,000 remain without electricity./pp”This is not … a climate change story as much as a story about greed and mismanagement over the course of decades,” Newsom said. “Neglect, a desire to advance not public safety but profits.”/ppThe same winds will affect Southern California, too/ppMeanwhile, the same powerful winds are moving into Southern California, where a local utility company has started turning off the lights for thousands of people. Southern California Edison cut power to almost 24,000 customers as winds picked up in the region Thursday./pp”The highest we’ve seen so far is 64 miles per hour in Warm Springs in the mountains of LA County,” said Keily Delerme, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “The most concerning thing is the combination of the winds and dry conditions.”/ppSome school districts canceled classes Thursday and Friday./ppMore than a quarter million still without power/ppIn Northern California, the power is trickling back on./ppMore than half of the customers affected had power back by end of Thursday and only about 84,000 customers remained without power on Friday, PG<><><><>E said./ppAnd the financial impact has been devastating. San Jose city said it lost at least half a million dollars and the number is expected to go up. The estimate includes supplies and fuel costs for generators, Deputy City Manager Kip Harkness said./ppMayor Sam Liccardo said they expect some compensation from PG<><><><><><>E for the public cost./ppTod Pickett, who operates a sports memorabilia shop in Placerville, estimated he’s lost thousands of dollars./pp”When the wind blows we have to turn the power off,” Pickett said. “It’s crazy … people are losing food, people are losing revenue for not being able to work.”/ppCritics say PG<><> <><><><><><><><>E is getting away with inconveniencing its customers and costing businesses instead of upgrading its infrastructure to prevent fires./ppImproved weather conditions/ppa href=”http://www.cnn.com/2019/10/10/us/california-power-shutoff-qa/index.html” target=”_blank”But the end of the misery/a may be near in Northern California./ppWeather conditions are getting better, and the utility said it’ll start its safety inspections and repairs in some areas, a first step to restoring power. The company said while it has about 6,300 personnel ready to start inspections, it could take several days to restore power to everyone./ppThe PG<><><><><><><><><>E blackout region stretches from south of San Jose to areas north of Eureka, and utility officials said they plan to inspect 25,000 miles of power lines before they turn everything back on./ppUltimately, if the power is off for two days, it could cost up to $2.6 billion, according to Michael Wara, the director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program at Stanford University’s Woods Institute./pp”This is very disruptive to people’s lives and businesses to not have electric power. An economy as large as California’s, when you black out a significant fraction of the state, there are going to be large economic impacts.” strong /strong/ppCNN’s Paul Vercammen contributed to this report/p