Erin Brockovich concerned about PG&E’s bankruptcy plan after wildfires

The company could be facing more than $30 billion in potential damages after wildfires in 2017 and 2018

Camp Fire satellite photo 10:45 am Nov. 8, 2018. Zeke Lunder
Camp Fire, as it began to burn into Paradise, Calif. LANDSAT 8 image at 10:45 a.m. PT, Nov. 8, 2018. Processed by Zeke Lunder, Deer Creek Resources, Chico, Calif.

Erin Brockovich battled Pacific Gas and Electric over ground water contamination in the 1990s, an effort that led to the Julia Roberts film named after her — Erin Brockovich. Now she is concerned about PG&E’s announced plan to declare bankruptcy, which may limit the company’s liability in their role for possibly starting the Camp Fire last year and many others in 2017.

PG&E has said they can’t afford to pay the estimated $30 billion in potential damages from the fires. The Camp fire destroyed about 14,000 homes and killed at least 86 people. CAL FIRE is looking closely at hardware that may have failed on a 100-year old high-voltage tower, possibly igniting the fire. A second possible point of ignition near other PG&E equipment is also being examined.

CAL FIRE investigators determined that the company’s electrical distribution system caused at least 17 of the major fires in Northern California in 2017, destroying thousands of homes.

Ms. Brockovich appeared at a press conference in Sacramento Tuesday. Below is an excerpt from KWBE:

“We should all be beyond frustrated,” Brockovich said during the press conference. “Every one of us should be good and mad. And it is time for the state to get to work. They need to show us their true leadership in holding this company accountable and making these communities whole again.”

She also alleged that the utility company is solvent and that it’s simply shucking its responsibilities.

“How are we going to stand by and just hurl 40,000 citizens, who have been harmed — not to mention the state of California — into chaos? Because Pacific Gas and Electric once again doesn’t want to be held accountable or pay for the damages they have caused,” Brockovich said.

In a response, a spokesperson for the utility company told ABC News that the company still had “work to do” and said that it remained “focused on supporting [families impacted by the wildfires] through the recovery and rebuilding process.”

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. Google+

3 thoughts on “Erin Brockovich concerned about PG&E’s bankruptcy plan after wildfires”

  1. PG&E should not be permitted to be bankrupt. If a corporation can have First Amendment rights to religious practices and beliefs, and the freedom to advertise products (arising out of Justice Scalia’s crazed interpretation of the Constitution), then it can also commit crimes. Antitrust and securities fraud aren’t the only ones. Homicide (in these cases probably manslaughter would apply) should be punished. PG&E should be forced to stop operations under current management and turn over all assets to the State of California — and remain liable for all civil damages for wrongful death and property loss it has caused. We don’t need private corporations to provide energy, smaller government entities (like Cities) often provide that service to citizens. The investors in PG&E will lose — but no more than its victims have. Fines are not sufficient. The Corporation, wherever it may be incorporated (probably Delaware) should no longer exist. There is a “death penalty” available in this matter. It’s time to use it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *