California Governor Gavin Newsom as per reports has termed electricity shutdown by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to prevent wildfires as 'unacceptable' even as gale-force friends and dry winds pose the danger of fire to northern California. Experts estimate economic damage worth $2 Billion. Meanwhile, politicians have slammed PG&E alleging 'greed' has caused this.
Reports say PG&E has imposed a huge power shutdown which left more than 730,000 homes and workplaces in northern California without power for the second straight day of power cuts. PG&E stated in a release that on late October 10, power was restored to half of those who lost the power. Officials stated that around 312,000 consumers remained without power as of 10 pm. Recent wildfires caused damage to power cables as flames burnt thorough dry lands to populated areas.
PG&E Restores More Than Half of Customers following Public Safety Power Shutoff. Weather Conditions in Nearly All Counties Now Safe to Conduct Inspections, Repairs and Begin Power Restoration. https://t.co/rMhfMAhuwR pic.twitter.com/9csQi4fxKC— PG&E (@PGE4Me) October 11, 2019
Gavin Newsom, who is the Governor of California has reportedly said that he did not blame the power company to shut down electricity as a safety measure but described outage as too wide and said it was a result of mismanagement by the company. He said that he is seeing a scale and scope of something that no state in the 21st Century should experience and that whatever happened is unacceptable and it happened because of neglect. PG&E had filed for bankruptcy in January 2019 due to potential civil liabilities running in excess of $30 billion for major wildfires and other equipment.
As power outages affected many people, Democrats have pinned the blame on the power company-
Irresponsible corporate greed threatened the health and safety of 800,000 Californians. Meanwhile, PG&E has paid out billions to its shareholders. My Green New Deal will build a 21st century energy grid that will deliver clean, reliable power to all. https://t.co/nxgE58Xiu9— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 10, 2019
Shutting off power will be enormously costly to local economies and dangerous for vulnerable populations. This is not a solution to the climate crisis. We need a 100% clean and distributed energy system to build strong, climate-resilient communities. https://t.co/rPPPaKb9Hj— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 10, 2019
An expert from Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment has estimated the economic damage due to power outage can reach $2.5 billion hitting small businesses the hardest as they lacked back-up generators. A man who lost one restaurant in 2017 due to wildfire said that this (Power outage) is a preventive medicine and that sometimes it's better not to take it. He said what those fires caused were very real for people in the community.
(Inputs from agencies)