Showing posts with label Court Ordered Probation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Court Ordered Probation. Show all posts

The Observer: PG&E Probation Problems; Redistricting Update

 he Observer: PG&E Probation Problems; Redistricting Update

Federal Judge Says PG&E May Have Violated Probation

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) apparently is once more in violation of its probation according to the federal judge overseeing the troubled electrical giant.

This past September, the Shasta County D.A.’s Office filed criminal charges against PG&E in connection with the Zogg fire that left four people dead.

Cal Fire investigators found that a tree toppled into PG&E overhead power lines, which ignited the firestorm that burned 56,000-plus acres, destroying more than 200 structures.

Back in 2017, PG&E was placed on probation following the deadly 2010 San Bruno gas line explosion. This week PG&E’s probation officer stated, “There is probable cause to believe that the company while under probation violated the general condition of probation that they not commit another federal, state or local crime.

Federal Judge William Alsup, who is in charge of the utility’s probation, found probable cause of the utility violating the conditions of its supervision. As a result, the judge could extend that probation period — ending next year — or revoke the sentence and re-sentence PG&E.

Stephanie Bridgett, Shasta County’s district attorney, said in late September that PG&E “was reckless and criminally negligent” because it had not removed the tree that caused the Zogg Fire.

Just a few weeks ago, Judge Alsup issued a request to PG&E for a final report asking what progress the utility company has made during its probation to improve public safety for both their gas and electric divisions. Alsup also wants PG&E to explain the reasons it has started wildfires and what it has done to prevent future fires.

According to Reclaim Our Power, which is part of a coalition of California organizations that watchdogs the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E’s problems continue to mount, as five counties filed lawsuits recently “for damages from the catastrophic Dixie Fire that the utility admits it likely caused. PG&E faces criminal charges from fires in 2019, 2020, and 2021 as well as revelations that hedge funds have taken billions in profits while fire survivors continue to be given slow, incomplete access to funds to recover damages caused by PG&E.”

Speaking of PG&E, here’s a suggestion by Laytonville’s Robin Thomposon, a professional lumber grader, regarding what can be done with some of the trees being removed around the utility’s overhead infrastructure. Thompson sent his recommendation to 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak.

Hi John,

A concerted effort could have been made — by county administration, working with PG&E — to save all the merchantible softwood timber during the PG&E line clearing. Homeowners could then be paid stumpage at the mill, same as any timberland owner. Truckers & local mills would have benefitted. The whole program would have been more palatable to all that way… I had a gorgeous, long, commercially valuable fir log that I had to ask 4 different crew chiefs to leave alone. I come back, it’s been cut up: a 7′ here, a 5′ there, meaningless, ruinous short lengths! Does PG&E run this county or do we? Micro-millers had no chance to work or cooperate with PG&E. Softwood timbers, they could have produced, are quite valuable. Softwood plants from here to the border would lick their chops over all the gorgeous, mature & “grandfather” material that COULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE with a little fore thought, planning & implementation. Please forward this to your colleagues.


Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, observer@pacific.net, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org


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