SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A scathing new report accuses Pacific Gas and Electric Co. of failing to address the number one cause of wildfires they’ve ignited.
A judge argues PG&E is violating it’s probation and state law by not clearing enough hazardous debris near power lines.
The judge is very concerned with power safety shutoffs. They said PG&E does not consider which power lines have been cleared of vegetation when they make shut off decisions, and that’s a huge problem.
Tree trimming near power lines is required under California Law. So, the judge wants PG&E to take into account which power lines were cleared of trees before shutting them off during severe wind storms.
In the report, the judge wrote that PG&E has postponed the removal of hazardous tree limbs and instead diverted those funds to bigger bonuses. They argue clearing vegetation near power lines is needed to protect people from future death and destruction.
On several occasions, PG&E has faced protests and lawsuits for removing trees near power lines. In Grass Valley, one man sat in a tree and refused to leave during a PG&E removal operation.
PG&E told Bloomberg News that they share the judge’s focus on safety. The company said they are reducing the risk present in their system and “making California safer for communities.”