PG&E is under investigation as blackouts roll across California, leaving many residents in the dark for an indefinite amount of time. The blackouts are the power giant's solution to dangerous sparking power lines caused by high winds. These sparks have been blamed for many of the wildfires that have devastated California and caused billions of dollars in damage.
PG&E is in the position of being held responsible for its power lines starting the fires that have devastated California and caused over 80 deaths. As a result, they have instituted blackouts. Their solution to the "problem" of burning down homes with sparks from their power lines is to simply shut off power to thousands of their customers in California. This major inconvenience comes without much recourse for their customers. As blackouts stretch for hours and even days, their customers are without basic utilities such as water, household appliances, phones, and even running water. They have low cell phone batteries with no way to charge them, no way to wash their clothes, and – significantly – no way to keep their food in their refrigerators from spoiling.
Blackouts are causing outrage from citizens experiencing unreliable services. And even as PG&E cuts off the power, which in some cases results in cell tower malfunctions, the fires continue to rage.
"PG&E has been turning off power across vast parts of its service area during high winds because fallen power lines are a major cause of wildfires. The blackouts have drawn widespread criticism. But if PG&E, fearful of the backlash, limits the scope of its power cuts, there could be more fires," The New York Times reports.
Here's what PG&E's CEO had to say about the rampant food insecurity.
As the state struggles, the most vulnerable of its citizens suffer as their hard-earned money gets thrown in the garbage in the form of rotten food from fridges without power. To say that PG&E is not sympathetic is an understatement.
Dan Noyes of ABC News asked PG&E President and CEO Bill Johnson some tough questions about the strain the blackouts are putting on families:
Noyes: "What do you say to people who just can't afford to restock their fridges and are losing all this food they've had in their households after these shut offs?"
Johnson: "These events can be hard on people, really hard on people, particularly people who have struggles anyways and there are community-based things you can do, food banks, these kind of things. But for us, you know the main thing is we didn't cause any fires, we didn't, for these people we didn't burn down any houses, the Kincade fire is still under investigation, I got that, but one of the things we did was give them the opportunity to actually refill their refrigerator 'cause their house is still there." (source)
These out-of-touch comments from PG&E CEO Bill Johnson – who earns over $2 Million per year – have sparked outrage.
Here are some social media comments shared by ABC 30: