Transmission tower with power lines surrounded by trees. <(Photo: Pictures_n_Photos, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The devastation of fire season in wine country and southern California has only been compounded by never-ending public safety power shutoffs across the state. While the purpose of power shutoffs by utility companies, like PG&E, is to prevent their uninspected equipment from catching fire during hot, windy weather, the constant lack of power is an unacceptable solution for California homeowners and business owners and their operations.
A PG&E worker checks power lines during a San Jose grass fire in July. (Photo: Geartooth Productions, via Shutterstock)
Things are not going well for PG&E. Amid massive blackouts that PG&E has put in place to avoid liability in the event of a wildfire, millions of Californians were left without power — for days at a time in some cases. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has called for a public takeover of PG&E — a move backed by at least two dozen cities — that would reclassify the company as a nonprofit electric and gas cooperative instead of an investor-owned company.