NO PG&E Bailout! Clean, Safe, Public Utilities NOW!

Governor Newsom, California Public Utilities Commission, State and Local Representatives

No-bailout_

We shouldn't have to choose between deadly fires or deadly blackouts and power shutoffs. We shouldn't be at the mercy of PG&E’s negligence while people impacted by their wild fires and vulnerable communities who need #PowerToLive continue to pay the price.

We refuse to watch as the California Public Utilities Commission and politicians bail out PG&E by forcing customers and communities to pay for their negligence, while doing nothing to address issues of public safety. The state hasn’t provided respirator masks, shelter, or relief for thousands of homeless and vulnerable folks but now wants to bail out a bloated, investor-owned utility that has spent millions to defeat efforts that would usher in safer, renewable energy.

Lawmakers need to prioritize our lives and health, not PG&E and its for-profit financial stability. This is a state of emergency. We deserve the right to choose cleaner, safer, and more sustainable power grid and future.

Join us and tell Governor Newsom to unplug PG&E, not us!

WE DEMAND:

  • No public bailout of PG&E and other private monopoly utilities
    • Hold them accountable for their failure to prioritize public safety and properly
      maintain equipment.
    • Make them pay damages in full, no shifting fire-related liability costs onto
      ratepayers.
  • Public takeover of the monopoly utilities’ electricity grid infrastructure
    • Establish joint public/worker ownership of the new grid infrastructure.
    • Provide for transitioning workers’ jobs, satisfying fire victims’ claims, and securing utility workers’ pensions.
    • Transition the state’s electricity grid infrastructure to a public, democratized clean energy model that supports local Community Choice energy programs and municipal utilities.
  • Implement a climate-justice model for development of clean energy resources
    • Support expansion of community-based, public energy service provider agencies in California—the 19 Community Choice energy programs currently serving 11 million customers.
    • Prioritize development of local renewable energy resources as key to providing environmental, economic, and social justice benefits to communities.
  • Make the California Public Utilities Commission accountable to its mandate to “serve the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure,” especially for low income communities and communities of color, most at risk.
  • The State and PG&E must invest in vulnerable people's basic power needs.
    • Invest in: accessible and clean-energy-supplied energy storage to power the equipment of every medical baseline customer during power outages; HEPA air filters for chronically ill people, elders, and children in areas impacted by fire smoke; groceries for people who live paycheck to paycheck; alternative lodging for people who depend on power to survive; compensation for small businesses who experienced losses during the shutoffs; and payouts to victims of PG&E-caused fires.

Sponsored by
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Oakland, CA

To: Governor Newsom, California Public Utilities Commission, State and Local Representatives
From: [Your Name]

I'm with all residents impacted by the fires and refuse to watch as California Public Utilities Commission, President Picker, and other politicians bail out PG&E by forcing customers and communities to pay for their negligence.

Overwhelming evidence shows that this corporation is responsible for starting the “Camp Fire”, the worst and deadliest fire in the history of California. State investigators have determined they are also responsible for at least 16 others last fall, 12 of which were deadly, and 11 of which clearly violated laws requiring proper maintenance. The state hasn’t provided respirator masks, shelter, or relief for thousands of homeless and vulnerable folks but now wants to bail out a bloated investor-owned utility that has spent millions to defeat efforts that would usher in safer, renewable energy. Lawmakers need to prioritize our lives and health, not the financial stability of PG&E.

Disabled people have died in the shutoffs -- even one loss is too many. Ten more years of blackouts are unacceptable because blackouts kill disabled people and disproportionately harm Black and Brown, working-class and poor communities. Nobody is disposable! For as long as PG&E is run as an investor-owned utility, it should be required by law to put all profit generated towards resiliency infrastructure and reparative programs as described above.

The people who have to live with the consequences of your past decisions to subsidize shareholders and dirty energy infrastructure should not also have to inherit the debts of this irresponsible corporation. We must invest in decentralizing and democratizing our power, in part, by breaking up the company and transitioning the utility to a state agency, which could then be shifted to multiple local public power systems. We refuse to prop up a for-profit system that continually endangers ecosystems and lives, while also reducing the lifespans of millions of residents. We deserve the right to choose cleaner, safer, and more sustainable utilities and futures.

WE DEMAND:

1) No public bailout of PG&E and other private monopoly utilities:
a) Hold them accountable for their failure to prioritize public safety and properly maintain equipment.
b) Make them pay damages in full, no shifting fire-related liability costs onto ratepayers.

2) Public takeover of the monopoly utilities’ electricity grid infrastructure
a) Establish joint public/worker ownership of the new grid infrastructure company.
b) Provide for transitioning workers’ jobs, satisfying fire victims’ claims, and securing utility workers’ pensions.
c) Transition the state’s electricity grid infrastructure to a public, democratized clean energy model that supports local Community Choice energy programs and municipal utilities.

3) Implement a climate-justice model for the development of clean energy resources
a) Support expansion of community-based, public energy service provider agencies in California—the 19 Community Choice energy programs currently serving 11 million customers.
b) Prioritize the development of local renewable energy resources as key to providing environmental, economic, and social justice benefits to communities.

4) Make the California Public Utilities Commission accountable to its mandate
to “serve the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure,” especially for low-income communities and communities of color, most at risk.

5) The State and PG&E must invest in vulnerable people's basic power needs like: accessible and clean-energy-supplied energy storage to power the equipment of every medical baseline customer during power outages; HEPA air filters for chronically ill people, elders, and children in areas impacted by fire smoke; groceries for people who live paycheck to paycheck; alternative lodging for people who depend on power to survive; compensation for small businesses who experienced losses during the shutoffs; and payouts to victims of PG&E-caused fires.

Now is time to shift your priorities. Now is the time for a just transition. Now is the time to prioritize lives and communities over capital gains. This is a state of emergency. The climate crisis is here, and we are no longer willing to choke on the smoke of dirty business as usual.

​How exactly do we do make this transition from corporate power to democratic, local control? Here are some suggestions from Local Clean Energy Alliance and East Bay Community Energy: PG&E: Don't Just Break It Up, Take It Over​ (https://popularresistance.org/pge-dont-break-it-up-take-it-over/)

*It is estimated that PG&E will be liable for approximately $15 billion for last year’s fires and $15 billion more for the “Camp Fire.” We know that $30 billion (or any dollar amount) will never compensate for the lives, livelihoods, homes, personal belongings, and whole communities that were destroyed in the fires, nor will it address the residual impact of smoke and toxins released into the environment and filling our lungs. We can, however, honor those impacted by doing everything in our power to ensure this never happens again.