SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Four California lawmakers are set to introduce a bill that would prohibit utility companies from raising rates when they are responsible for a disaster.

The bill comes in the wake of the devastating wine country wildfires that has left 43 dead and burned upwards of 250,000 acres.

PG&E is reportedly urging state regulators to make it easier for the company to charge ratepayers when they are found liable for wildfires.

The lawmakers say they will push their bill that would prevent such a practice when the legislature reconvenes in January.

The cause of the fires remain under investigation, but PG&E faces a lawsuit from a Santa Rosa couple claiming the utility company is responsible for the Tubbs Fire.

The company released a statement on the issue yesterday saying, in part:

“To be clear, the investigations into these fires are still ongoing and we are cooperating with the CPUC and Cal Fire’s reviews. While we all want answers, we must address these climate-driven natural disasters and come together to find solutions that keep our communities and customers safe.”

The 43rd death from the fires was announced on Monday. Kressa Shepherd, a 14-year-old girl, had suffered major burns from the Redwood Fire in Mendocino County.


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