PG&E Threatens More California Blackouts, Infuriating Officials
PG&E Corp., a massive supplier of power to the state of California, is threatening more blackouts in the future. Last week, upwards of two million people suffered blackouts when PG&E shut off their power grids as a safety precaution to incoming wind storms.
While many officials have criticized the power company, it’s standing by its decision to cut off power and saying that it is likely to proceed similarly during future wind threats.
California Public Utilities Commission seems to be most at odds with PG&E, who described the company’s blackouts as “inadequate execution.”
But PG&E is blamed for almost 20 major fires during the 2017 and 2018 years, all related to the wind causing power lines to spark flames.
“I can tell you that you guys failed on so many levels on fairly simple stuff,” Marybel Batjer, president of the Commission, said.
Batjer is among a number of harsh critics that say PG&E must come up with a better way forward. But Bill Johnson, a representative of PG&E, says the company’s blackouts were the right decision.
“Making the right decision on safety is not the same as executing that decision well,” he said. “PG&E has to be better prepared than it was this time.”
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PG&E’s power reach is massive at 16 million. If the company’s strategy remains blackouts during wind storms, people residing in these grids will always be subject to power collapse. Worse more, the unsavory characters among us might be enabled to create criminal type strategy based around predictable blackouts.
PG&E will continue to upgrade it’s technology and trim trees that threaten powerlines. The power company can’t afford to be the subject of yet more litigation. If they are blamed for another fire, another lawsuit is a likely case. And that would almost certainly mean bankruptcy. So the company sees blackouts and the only way to fend off a complete collapse of the company.
The company could use better wind tracking technology to help lessen the blows of blackouts, but as for now, it will have to deploy more widespread risk-prevention methods. And that means residents throughout the state should expect predictable blackouts. It’s always a good idea to make sure you have your prepper supplies list at least in the works.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.