Dodd invoice makes deliberate energy shut-offs an area emergency eligible for state assist

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Sen. Invoice Dodd, D-Napa, has efficiently pushed a invoice by the California Legislature that enables native officers to entry state funding for emergencies tied to to public security energy shut-offs by utility corporations.

The laws makes native governments eligible for funding supplied below the Emergency Companies Act if electrical utilities shut off energy resulting from excessive wildfire hazard.

The identical California legislation at present permits native authorities to declare a state of emergency throughout extreme vitality shortages together with pure disasters, infectious illness occasions and different catastrophes. Dodd’s invoice ensures the inclusion of deliberate shut-offs resulting from wildfire risk as nicely.

The invoice will assist communities grappling with the prices of responding to energy shut-offs utilities conduct when climate situations create excessive fireplace hazard, Dodd stated.

Tens of hundreds of PG&E prospects throughout Northern California have skilled these shut-offs this yr amid one other fierce fireplace season. PG&E first employed the deliberate outages on a large scale in 2018 after its tools was linked to many of the main fires within the 2017 firestorm.

New standards utilized by PG&E to intently consider the danger bushes pose to energy traces throughout extreme climate might enhance the quantity and dimension of these shut-offs, in keeping with a report final month by utility and emergency officers to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

“Clearly, the wildfire risk shouldn’t be going away,” Dodd stated in written assertion. “And as we’ve seen not too long ago, utility corporations proceed to make use of this preventative measure.”

Cosigned by Senate Minority Chief Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, the laws handed the Meeting Monday after receiving the unanimous approval of the state Senate on April 29.

The invoice additionally acquired “overwhelming bipartisan help“ within the Meeting, in keeping with an announcement from Dodd’s workplace. It should now return to the Senate for a vote to concur with amendments made within the Home earlier than heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature.

You may attain Employees Author Andrew Graham at 707-526-8667 or On Twitter @AndrewGraham88

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