Emotions Rise at Santa Rosa CPUC Meeting

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Frustration and anger at PG&E boiled over at a public meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission in Santa Rosa Wednesday.

The gathering was one of 17 that are being held across the utility’s service area to allow the public to weigh-in on PG&E’s latest rate increase request.

The utility is asking to tack on an average of more than $10 dollars per month, per customer, to pay for what it calls safety upgrades, wildfire prevention, and liability insurance.

All of this comes in the wake of massive and damaging fires across Northern California that have resulted in more than a hundred deaths in the last two years and the loss of almost 20 thousand homes.   PG&E  declared bankruptcy earlier this year and faces billions in wildfire-related claims.

At this meeting, it was clear those in attendance were not willing to take the utility’s promises at face value.  Several spoke of shattered trust, and maintained that the Public Utilities Commission, which is charged with regulating PG&E and other utilities, had failed in its responsibilities.

If approved, the rate increase would net PG&E more than a billion additional dollars next year, and almost another billion dollars over the following two years.


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