Sunday, December 16, 2018

Impoverishing the Masses is Conservation by Other Means

PARADISE, Calif. — California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is 
asking for a rate hike of almost $2 billion from customers, saying 
more than half will go toward wildfire safety. 
In a proposal submitted Thursday to the California Public Utilities 
Commission, PG&E is asking for $1.1 billion in new revenue in 2020, 
including $576 million for the Community Wildfire Safety Program, $273 
million toward liability insurance, and $209 million for core gas and 
electric operations. 
The proposal asks for another $454 million in 2021 and $486 million in 2022. 
If the commission approves the hike, ratepayers could see their bills 
jump more than $10 a month. 
Californians already pay one of the highest prices in the nation for 
electricity. According to the US Energy Information Administration, 
last year’s average monthly bill was $101.49. 
The proposal does not include money for potential claims from the 2017 
and 2018 California fires, PG&E says. 
A class action lawsuit filed last week accuses the utility of 
negligence and poor maintenance of electrical infrastructure. 
“Even though PG&E knew that its infrastructure was aging, unsafe, and 
vulnerable to weather and environmental conditions, it failed to 
fulfill these duties, and failed to take preventative measures in the 
face of known high-risk weather conditions, such as de-energizing its 
electrical equipment,” the lawsuit states. 
Another suit calls the Camp Fire an “inevitable byproduct of PG&E’s 
willful and conscious disregard of public safety.” 
In a PG&E report this week, the company outlined employee reports of 
damaged power towers minutes before the Camp Fire broke out. One 
employee called 911 the day the wildfire started after spotting flames 
close to a high-voltage tower in Butte County. 
That was 15 minutes after a transmission line went out near that location. 
On Wednesday, the state’s insurance commissioner reported $9 billion 
in insured losses from the 2018 wildfires. 
“The tragic deaths of 88 people and over $9 billion in insured losses 
to date are shocking numbers — behind the insured loss numbers are 
thousands of people who’ve been traumatized by unfathomable loss,” 
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said. 
The utility could see $26.5 billion in liability costs, co-head of 
Utilities, Power Equipment & Renewable Energy at SSR, Hugh Wynne said. 
It might be less if the company isn’t found to have started one or 
more of the 2017 and 2018 fires. 
 It's just one step closer to the end of Industrial Civilization, that 
transient pulse dependent upon limitless cheap energy on a Finite 
The Olduvai Gorge Theory: (that) the Stone Age was "sustainable" 
civilization won't outlast fossil fuels: 

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