California state regulators halt power company’s power shutoff plan

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a temporary order blocking the plan by San Diego Gas and Electric to preemptively shut off the electricity for up to 150,000 people at a time when the fire danger meets their predetermined criteria. SDG&E had expected to implement the plan on September 1, but the commission put a halt to it at least until they can meet on September 10.

Photo: ginsnob / Flickr

The power company has said shutting off the electricity during dry and windy conditions would prevent fires that could be started by their power lines. Many groups are opposed to the plan, including schools, water districts, and disabled people who rely on life-sustaining equipment. One study found that there are 900 people in the affected area with chronic medical problems. Of those, 590 rely on electrical equipment for thier well being.

SDG&E’s outage plan

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.