Was PG&E’s cost-cutting a cause of the Butte Fire? Did PG&E use money that was supposed to be used for tree trimming and pay it out as profit to its executives? The attorneys for the Butte Fire victims have been looking into those questions from the outset of the Butte Fire investigation.
Now State Senator Jerry Hill is asking the same questions. He called PG&E into a meeting in San Francisco to find out. Hill is someone who knows a bit about PG&E’s history.
PG&E, in 1994, diverted $77 million from what was supposed to go to repair and maintenance of their electrical lines. They diverted it to corporate profits, to shareholder profits; just as they did in the gas system with hundreds of millions of dollars.”
This is the sort of thing that the California Public Utilities Commission is supposed to prevent. But according to Hill, the CPUC has been unsuccessful in formulating vegetation management rules to prevent wildfires. So Hill is getting involved in the issue himself.
Jerry Hill represents San Bruno, the community where a PG&E fire killed 8 and destroyed 47 homes in 2010.