PG&E — 21 Comments

  1. The kicker though is that PG&E requested a rate increase to do some specific large maintenance tasks, CALPUC approved it, and suddenly the executives were getting bonuses for several years that equaled the amount coming in from that increase. Then they came back to CALPUC with that exact same list and said they needed a rate increase (again, hoping nobody would notice who might publicize it) to do that deferred maintenance.

    They would have gotten away with it, too, except that San Bruno Mountain blew up just then, killing one of the more responsible CALPUC regulators among the three dozen or so there.

    That’s when we finally started to learn how badly they were mismanaging things. The heads of both entities were replaced.

    PG&E was ordered to inspect every line. They fought it, they delayed it, and then with the deadline coming up they hired lots of contractors to get it done.

    And got caught using people who had no qualifications for doing the work. So they had to pay to do the whole thing over, and we got the streets torn up and the snarled traffic again.

    The infamous Pipeline 132 runs a hundred feet or so from my house between two gas stations. They ran a metal pipeline down the side street for awhile there while they worked and I had this fear that someone would hit it.

    PG&E has earned their felony conviction. A lot of that maintenance has been paid for, they simply pocketed it.

    • Added in that we need to pay the electricians, and engineers and line workers a good wage. When it comes to paying out of pocket – people can accept that their house has tippled in value, but not that they have to pay 10% more for their electricity.
      No executive needs to get paid what the leadership of PG&E has taken home for the last few years. But then, I know people who have a huge amount of responsibility (read military) who don’t get paid 10% of what those executives bring home.

      I do know some people who work for PG&E – who care – who try and also say that it is easier this year to affect change than it has in the past

  2. We are heading into summer here. There have already been bad fires in other states. You will remember the hills behind us with people wanting to live in “natural bushland” – the people who don’t clear their gutters and the undergrowth. That we haven’t had a major fire with the loss of many lives – not just houses – is something that amazes me. Get one long goods train (90 plus bogies – railway trucks) stuck along the line coming down the hills and blocking boom gates – the only way out for some – and the subsequent damage would be catastrophic. I look at your part of the world and think it has similar issues – including the eucalyptus. Hope you don’t need to leave at any time.

    • I remember the hills, and looking down on the city. Valerie, who lives over near Sydney, said that fire season has started there – and a couple of months early.

  3. ’ve seen the fires last year and now. It is a frightful situation and you discussed it so well.

    I hope all is OK for you and I will keep hoping that you all remain safe and impacted as little as possible.

  4. We’re away from our RV (home) in Coarsegold and just got notified that our power is going off tomorrow am. I’m so grateful that we live in our RV community. We have friends that are going into our rig, taking the stuff out of our freezer/frig and putting the freezer items in our freezer in our shed. This little chest freezer can be maintained with our generator being run a few hours per day.
    It’s believed that we may be out of power for 48 hours or so. With our lifestyle and the help of good friends, we can continue our journey. We plan on returning to Coarsegold Nov. 23. two weeks in Reno/Sparks and then on to New Orleans, a cruise and a 3 day exploration of the New Orleans area.
    Life is good.

    • And it is amazing the number of people who don’t reach out to others – I don’t get it, but… we are spending the afternoon at our daughters. She is fixing dinner and we are charging everything. Just glad I hadn’t restocked the fridge or freeze since everything was pretty empty while George was in the hospital. Hope everything works out well at your end.

  5. Wow, are you effected that directly ? I had no Idea the danger was thst close to your home I will cross my fingers that you will not be in harms way!

    All the very best for you and George !

    • and there are still those who deny that the climate is changing… personally, I think we are past the tipping point. Not to say we shouldn’t attempt to slow things down, but I don’t think this genie is going to be shoved back in the bottle.

  6. Been following the fires and power. I still get updates from the fire department. They were supposed to take me off their list but government, what can I say. After years of fires and one time 5 days of no power I can truly say I don’t miss it.
    Did I ever mention that we once had to sue PG&E after they burned half our avocado grove?

    • and there are times you can’t get on a list – but it is impossible to get off one….

      no, hadn’t heard about PG&E roasting your avocados..

  7. I was going to ask you how much at risk were you.

    At least you have a plan, dont wait too long please or you will be stuck with melting icepacks in the car, while standing still in traffic.

    Would it be better to go early>

    • actually, I am not willing to leave the house empty. With no power the alarm system doesn’t work. The dogs will bark, so that is as good as it gets. I don’t expect us, short of a neighbor being stupid or malignant, to have a direct risk of fire

      • Ah, sort of we are not home come loot all you like ?
        dandy. I really hope it doesnt get close enough you have to leave. mentally much better and health wise for george much better .

  8. I completely understand. However I wonder how many of PG&E’s power shut offs were related to their bankruptcy case. I live in Danville at the foot of Mt Diablo – a vast open area. My power is not switched off – is it because affluent people would complain? I think the fire risk is comparable. My daughter, a Berkeley Police Officer is preparing to deploy to Sonoma County for the second time in 2 years…when does a public utility put people above profit????

    • Well, that certainly is what PG&E along with CALPUB were doing for years (see Alison’s comment above). Hopefully Jen will be safe and back home soonest

  9. Gosh – Holly I thought for a moment you had relocated to Australia. Such a scenario is mirrored – pretty much – here! Our fire season has started almost two months early this year. We could not even get access to the air support required as it was still in service elsewhere in the world. NSW has now bitten the bullet and invested in ownership of its own aircraft.

    As for the power and the desire to make as much profit as possible to keep shareholders happy, our power grid is in such a deplorable state I think the shareholders have all moved on in any case! I find it extraordinary that those very same people who complain about the service provided by any business (be it, energy, property, banking, whatever) acknowledge they have a stake in said company! We cannot continue to live this way. I have no answers. We do not personally hold shares. Our pension fund would have as part of a wider investment portfolio. We are doing sort of okay in the current financial climate (approaching zero% interest rates, great for mortgagees, not so great for anyone on a fixed income hoping for any little bit extra they can garner).

    We keep on keeping on. As a ‘man on the street’ we have no power to change anything. Voting governments in or out doesn’t seem to have any impact either. Is democracy as we knew it, changed forever? I hope not. We just need to find a government with more ‘balls’ to do the right thing and consider the people they represent and not themselves.

    Hope springs eternal.

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