Critics ask what took PG&E so long on wildfire safety effort - InfoNews

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Critics ask what took PG&E so long on wildfire safety effort

FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2017, file photo, crews of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. work on restoring power lines in a fire ravaged neighborhood in an aerial view in the aftermath of a wildfire in Santa Rosa, Calif. The nation's largest utility on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, promised to overhaul its wildfire-prevention measures in response to growing legal, financial and public pressure for its role in starting some of the most destructive blazes in California history. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
February 07, 2019 - 2:32 PM

SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. is promising to spend more than $2 billion this year to improve wildfire prevention after its equipment was blamed for causing more than 1,500 Northern California wildfires since 2014.

Lawyers, industry watchdogs and a federal judge alike wonder: What took so long? They question the utility's sincerity in the face of decades-long record linked to wildfires.

The advocacy group The Utility Reform Network and a lawyer representing hundreds of wildfire victims suing PG&E expressed skepticism on Thursday after PG&E submitted its proposed safety plan to regulators. Attorney Frank Pitre says PG&E has historically accepted high risks in its electrical operations.

PG&E says it isn't waiting for regulatory approval and has already begun implementing enhanced safety measures meant to reduce the number of wildfires if causes.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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