A new report revealed that incompetent state regulators in The California Public Utilities Commission failed to implement plans required by state law that could have prevented the devastating California wildfires.
Senate Bill 1028 required the three big California power companies, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, to provide detailed strategies for reducing fire threats, according to The San Diego Tribune.
The California Public Utilities Commission was supposed to review the filings, make comments, and follow up to ensure they followed the plans. They NEVER DID!
They did NOT issue directives to the power companies, and it’s been more than two years since the law was passed.
A spokesman for Edison, one of the power companies, blamed the regulators.
“At the time SB 901 was enacted, no CPUC rulemaking on prior legislation had been established,” the spokesman said.
“While the commission delayed enforcing the new law, wildfires suspected of being caused by overhead power lines and other utility equipment killed at least 125 people,” the Tribune reported. “They also destroyed 18,000 buildings and charred hundreds of square miles of the California landscape.”
State Sen. Jerry Hill, the San Mateo Democrat who introduced SB 1028, was deeply frustrated.
“The unfortunate thing is we gave them that authority but we did not put a timeline on it,” Hill said.
It is safe to say that all around incompetence contributed to the California fires. Rather than the effects of climate change 100 years from now, they could start worrying about the immediate threats, which seems to be the unaccountable government.