SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Amid the unprecedented power shutoffs impacting Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in many parts of California, a Bay Area lawmaker is seeking to restrict such outages.
Hundreds of thousands of PG&E customers have had their electricity service disrupted since early Wednesday, as the utility shut down power to areas due to heightened fire danger.
The proposal is by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who says the state needs clear standards for when utilities can flip the switch. Wiener said his bill would not completely prevent a power shutoff.
“I understand why PG&E at times will need to shut down the power,” Wiener told KPIX 5. “I’m not saying they should never shut down power anywhere, there are times as a matter of public safety, to avoid wildfires, where they may need to do it. But they need to make it as focused as possible.”
The legislation would put parameters around when a major power shutoff should occur. It is unclear when the measure would be considered at the State Capitol, since the legislature is not scheduled to reconvene until early 2020.