[Marxism] PG&E electricity shutdown in N. California

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Fri Oct 11 08:18:58 MDT 2019

 [First, John's usually well written essays on topical subjects I think
gets a C- this time. I don't understand his snarky attitude toward these
black outs and previous fires. Maybe his means something else but it
doesn't appear so.]

This was a totally the fault of PG&E, my former employer. PG&E admits it
has only accomplished 31% of the required PUC mandated tree trimming. This
story is an old one going back to the mid-1980s when the Company started
scaling back tree trimming operations and diverting funding for other
Corporate expenses. Tree trimming is mandated by state regulations. The
company can send tree trimmers in with chain saws to cut down or trim back
trees that have branches that could hit power lines in neighborhoods. They
can removed dead trees around the easements for their transmission lines.
PG&E has failed to do this. We have had higher wind situations 20 and 30
years ago which did not cause any fires whatsoever.

Yes, the number of actually fully dead trees has, because of climate change
caused droughts increased. But this was seen before it happened and the
Company should of started to take care of this problem at least 5 years ago
when we were in a drought situation. My union, IBEW Local 1245 reported
regularly throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s on the *failure* of PG&E to
abide by it's mandate. The new PUC regs now allow PG&E to turn off the
power to millions of people instead of mandating what they should do and
*were paid to do* which is to upgrade their transmission and distribution
network, replace poles that are too old and are in danger of falling, and
trimming back the vegetation through out it's 20,000 miles of wires.

David Walters
IBEW 1245, Ret.

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