Four California legislators on Monday said they plan to introduce a bill that would bar electric utilities from passing on to their customers the costs of wildfires caused by the companies’ negligence.
The move comes as investigators are exploring whether Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines played a role in starting this month’s Wine Country wildfires, which killed at least 43 people.
San Diego Gas and Electric Co. has already asked state regulators for permission to make its customers pay some of the costs of settling lawsuits triggered by a deadly series of fires in 2007.
“This practice is an outrage,” state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, said in a news release. “Victims of devastating fires and other customers should not be forced to pay for the mistakes made by utilities. It’s time to stop allowing utilities to push the burden of their negligence onto the backs of customers.”
Hill is absolutely correct.