California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) blasted Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for roaming blackouts that are taking part across the Golden State.
"We should not have to be here. Years and years of greed, years and years of mismanagement, particularly with the largest investor-owned utility in the State of California, PG&E. They simply did not do their job. It took us decades to get here but we will get out of this mess," Newsom said. "We will hold them to an account that they're never been held [to] in the past. We will do everything in our power to restructure PG&E so it is a completely different entity when they get out of bankruptcy by June 30th of next year. We will hold them accountable for the business interruption and costs associated with these blackouts and we will do the same with the other two investor-owned utilities in Southern California."
I have a message for PG&E:— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 25, 2019
Your years and years of greed.
Years and years of mismanagement.
Years and years of putting shareholders over people.
Newsom, however, took big campaign contributions from the public utility back in 2018. According to an ABC 10 report from July, PG&E $208,400 towards his gubernatorial campaign. They donated the maximum contribution limit of $58,400. Another $150,000 was funneled through a group known as "Citizens Supporting Gavin Newsom for Governor 2018."
To make matters even worse, the governor was attempting to broker a deal that protected the public utility company from going completely broke after they were found responsible for starting the Camp Fire that burned in Paradise last year. PG&E failed to maintain equipment. In fact, one day before the Camp Fire began, the utility company sent a letter to a resident saying they needed to access her property to deal with sparking utility lines.
California has numerous fires ravaging the state.
The Kincade Fire, currently burning near Sonoma, has forced more than 200,000 people to evacuate their homes. The edges of that fire have now reached the burn scar left behind by the 2017 Tubbs Fire, KRON-TV reported.
The Getty Fire, near UCLA in Los Angeles, has burned 745 acres along the 405 freeway, LAist reported.
The Easy Fire, which started earlier today, broke out near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. According to KABC-TV, 1,491 acres have been impacted.
A handful of smaller fires are also burning throughout the state.