by Katy Grimes
As Appearing in the California Globe

Lawsuit says California utility customers forced to bail out utilities for wildfires utilities caused

After the Public Utilities Commission denied three Investor Owned Utilities in California – Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison – the cost of wildfire repayments in 2019, the utilities filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court in California and took it to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming that their tens of billions in wildfire liabilities should be paid for by utility customers – despite that Cal Fire repeatedly found electric utility safety violations to be the cause of the wildfires which led to the tens of billions in liabilities.

Following rejection of the utilities’ appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Legislature and Governor gutted-and-amended an existing bill, AB 1054 by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) lightening-fast, seeking to authorize the bailout of these investor owned utility companies from financial and legal consequences, despite their culpability in the wildfires.

Prior to passage of AB 1054, the lawsuit shows PG&E made massive campaign contributions to nearly every member of the Legislature and to Governor Newsom to secure the bill’s passage, the Globe reported in early 2020.

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