1,000 signatures reached
To: Governor Newsom, State of California
PG&E Buyout (not a bailout) and formation of a Public-owned utility
We the Undersigned petition the Governor, Legislature, and Regulatory Agencies of the State of California, TO OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZE a prevalent pattern of reckless disregard and criminal negligence in the Corporate leadership and operation of Pacific Gas and Electric Company ("PG&E") which has resulted in tragic losses of human life and the destruction of vast areas of the natural environment, and TO ACT IN THE BEST INTEREST of the People of California by expeditiously enacting the following measures:
1. Permanently revoke PG&E Corporate Charter as a matter of public safety;
2. Issue an injunction to halt PG&E bankruptcy proceedings;
3. Remove PG&E Executive Management, dissolve the Board of Directors, and appoint through a State Legislative committee selection process an Emergency Manager to oversee operations until new leadership can be appointed and/or selected per civil service requirements;
4. Pass emergency legislation appropriating funds for the acquisition of all PG&E assets on behalf of the State of California, and order the insolvent company to pay down liabilities owed to victims of PG&E related fires prior to all other creditors;
5. Assemble an independent committee (separate from CPUC) with subpoena power to investigate charges of criminal culpability among executives and senior PG&E decision-makers for losses in life and property dating back as far as Statute of Limitations will allow;
6. Create by act of State Legislature a not-for-profit Public-Owned Energy Company utilizing the existing assets, employees, and infrastructure of PG&E, with a mission of providing safe, reliable, affordable and renewable energy for the People of California.
Why is this important?
The Constituents of California rely upon their Government and its Regulatory Agencies to provide legal and statutory protections against criminal wrongdoings of any kind, and to act with swift authority to prevent the recurrence of any exigency which threatens the safety of the public and the natural environment within the State of California.
The Corporate Entity Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which has enjoyed a State sanctioned monopoly on energy production and distribution throughout Northern California, and which is expected by the Public in exchange to operate its business with the highest standards of safety and accountability, has repeatedly betrayed the public trust and demonstrated a chronic pattern of corporate negligence, fraud, regulatory obstruction, falsification of records, safety and code violations, and deliberate under-funding of safety programs to increase profit, as evidenced by:
1. $30 millions in fines and 739 counts of criminal negligence for deliberately under-funding required tree-trimming protocols and causing a power line blaze leading to the 1994 Trauner Fires, which destroyed 12 homes and burned over 500 acres of property;
2. $1.4 billion in fines and penalties and 6 felony convictions for obstruction and safety violations resulting in the 2010 San Bruno gas explosions which killed 8 people and destroyed 38 homes;
3. $8.3 million in fines for failing to maintain a power line that sparked the 2015 Butte Fires which killed 2 people, destroyed 549 homes and burned over 70,000 acres;
4. $14.5 billion in damages with multiple code violations for downed power lines causing 12 Northern California wildfires in October 2017 which killed 44 people, destroyed 8,900 homes and burned 245,000 acres;
5. Anticipated $30 billion in class action lawsuit for the 2018 Camp fire which killed 86 people, destroyed 13,900 homes and burned over 150,000 acres.
The People of California have paid too much already to be expected to bail out — with their own tax dollars — a criminally negligent corporation which is now seeking bankruptcy protection in order to shield itself from its liabilities. To rescue PG&E from the failure it has brought upon itself would be an insult to those who have lost their homes, their loved ones, and their hopes for a better tomorrow because of pure corporate greed.
No organization or corporation should ever be considered "too big to fail," as this will in effect place such an enterprise above the law.
We the undersigned now petition our elected officials to take any and all actions pursuant to a legal buyout of the failing company using the following Eminent Domain justifications:
A Public-Owned energy company will be more transparent and SAFER because, as a non-profit utility, it will no longer be incentivized to cut corners on safety in order to increase profits for investors and shareholders;
A Public-Owned energy company will be MORE AFFORDABLE for California ratepayers as it will be legally bound to charge ratepayers based on actual costs, leading to the following savings annually, at a minimum:
- $1 billion per year saved by not paying dividend payments to shareholders;
- $25 million per year saved by not paying current level Executive salaries and bonuses;
- $8 million per year saved by no longer lobbying State officials, which would constitute illegal activity for a public utility;
- Additional $ millions saved by not funding ballot initiatives or propositions (such as Prop 16, on which PG&E spent $46 million,) which would constitute illegal activity for a public utility.
And finally, a Public-Owned energy company will inherently be MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE, as it will no longer answer to profit-driven private investors and a Board of Directors, but to California taxpayers and elected officials who are ultimately interested in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, committing to more renewable energy production, and driving innovative solutions to the global crisis of climate deterioration.