PG&E Objects to Judge's Proposals to Prevent Wildfires - NBC 6 South Florida
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

PG&E Objects to Judge's Proposals to Prevent Wildfires

The company sought bankruptcy protection in January in the face of billions of dollars in potential liability from recent wildfires

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Living Well With Cardiovascular Disease
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
    The Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) logo is displayed on a hard hat at a work site on July 30, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

    Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pushed back Friday on a U.S. judge's revised proposals to prevent the utility's equipment from causing more wildfires, saying it could not "monitor every tree at every moment of every day" to ensure they don't pose a threat to its electric lines in violation of California laws.

    Judge William Alsup earlier this month proposed requiring the company to fully comply with all vegetation management and clearance laws as part of its probation in a criminal case. Alsup called the utility's efforts to prevent trees from hitting its power lines and starting wildfires dismal.

    That requirement would likely result in probation violations because tree conditions are constantly changing, PG&E said in a court filing.

    "A tree that was compliant at the time of a prior inspection might become a non-compliant hazard tree one day later when it is damaged by a natural or man-made event or three months later after a bark beetle infestation has taken hold," attorneys for the company said.

    'You Never Get Over It': 20 Years After Columbine

    [NATL] 'You Never Get Over It': A Look Back 20 Years After Columbine

    Family, friends, teachers and survivors look back twenty years after Columbine, in an anniversary made tougher by a threat from a South Florida high schooler. 

    (Published Friday, April 19, 2019)

    Alsup should also leave assessments of PG&E's compliance with vegetation management laws to state law enforcement officials and regulators, the attorneys said.

    PG&E also objected to Alsup's proposal to ban it from paying dividends to shareholders until it meets his vegetation management requirements. The company said that requirement would substantially hamper its ability to raise money from investors, which in turn would affect its safety efforts.

    The company has already suspended dividends and said it will not pay any at least until it emerges from bankruptcy.

    The company sought bankruptcy protection in January in the face of billions of dollars in potential liability from recent wildfires.

    Alsup is overseeing a criminal conviction against PG&E stemming from a 2010 gas line explosion that killed eight people in the San Francisco Bay Area. The judge's proposals follow devastating wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018 — some of which investigators have blamed on PG&E equipment. Alsup has said his goal is to prevent PG&E equipment from causing any wildfires during the 2019 fire season.

    He initially proposed ordering PG&E to undertake more drastic measures, including removing or trimming all trees that could fall on its power lines and cutting off power during certain wind conditions.

    Mueller Report: 10 Instances of Possible Obstruction of Justice by Trump

    [NATL] Mueller Report: 10 Instances of Possible Obstruction of Justice by Trump

    Special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election included instances of potential obstruction by President Donald Trump. Here is a rundown of the ten mentioned in the report.

    (Published Thursday, April 18, 2019)