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Economy PG&E: Troubled Power Utility Scrambles to Make Up for 3,000 Potentially Falsified Inspections

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Arkain2K, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. Revolver you sound poor

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    Lmao.
     
  2. PEB Great turntable of space and time dude

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    Because it costs around 2 to 11 million or so per mile to dig an place the lines. I live in Massachusetts an one town did just one street and decided it was to expensive. To do all of California everywhere would cost likely 10's of billions or more.

    "
    Frustrated by power outages this winter?

    The solution seems simple enough — put the wires underground, away from the elements and falling trees.

    No so fast, says Mike Durand, a spokesman for Eversource, a utility company that transmits and delivers electricity, natural gas, and water to 1.7 million customers throughout Massachusetts.

    Durand says the biggest obstacle is cost.

    According to a 2012 report by the Edison Electric Institute, the maximum cost of converting from overhead to underground distribution lines in a suburban setting is $2.42 million per mile. Converting higher capacity transmission lines costs up to $11 million per mile."

    Electric companies will not touch this with a telephone pole.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bo...re85wcZhRNLcXq0rIVL/story.html?outputType=amp
     
  3. PEB Great turntable of space and time dude

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    Anyways the solution is far more simple decentralized power grid. Create smaller solar and wind installations around the state. Reduce the larger high power installations requiring massive high power lines from greater distance.

    Oh older case in my town we have 2 multi-megawatt NG power stations plus two large solar arrays.

    This will reduce the chances of additional fires and give greater control to shut off areas without taking down millions of homes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  4. pinger Black Belt Platinum Member

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    Bootstraps?
     
  5. Arkain2K Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    CA cities to get money from state to relieve costs from PG&E power shutoffs
    Cities can use the money to buy generators to help power essential services, like hospitals and fire stations
    By Emily DeRuy | November 1, 2019​


    [​IMG]

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/11...mbursement-for-costs-from-pge-power-shutoffs/
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  6. GearSolidMetal I'm here to chew bubblegum and bang your mom. Platinum Member

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    For every post you make while in California, Revolver, you sound poorer and poorer.

    Get out before you sound homeless!

    <DCrying>
     
  7. freakroor Brown Belt

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    northern california has 4 national parks
     
  8. Revolver you sound poor

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    Yea man. A flyover like Kansas is where everyone should go. Lmao
     
  9. GearSolidMetal I'm here to chew bubblegum and bang your mom. Platinum Member

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    Fuck no.

    If everyone came here, it turn into a worse shithole than California.
     
  10. Revolver you sound poor

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    You’re better than this. Actually no you’re not. Enjoy your shithole. Lmao.
     
  11. GearSolidMetal I'm here to chew bubblegum and bang your mom. Platinum Member

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    And you enjoy yours. o_O
     
  12. Arkain2K Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    California Mayors Join Campaign to Make PG&E a Cooperative
    Leaders of more than a dozen cities, including Oakland and Sacramento, back the idea of making the utility customer-owned
    By Rebecca Smith | Nov. 5, 2019

    [​IMG]

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/california-mayors-join-campaign-to-make-pg-e-a-cooperative-11572955201
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  13. Arkain2K Si vis pacem, para bellum

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  14. Arkain2K Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    PG&E Struggles to Find a Way Out of Bankruptcy
    California’s largest utility needs to reach a settlement with victims of wildfires and other creditors while fending off calls for a state takeover.
    By Lauren Hepler, Peter Eavis and Ivan Penn | Nov. 19, 2019

    [​IMG]

    After an autumn marked by mass blackouts and wildfires, Pacific Gas & Electric is racing to craft a plan to escape bankruptcy. That plan needs to satisfy fire victims and state officials who are threatening to take over PG&E, California’s largest utility, unless executives improve its safety record.

    If PG&E doesn’t reach an agreement with victims and other creditors by early next year, the utility might not be able to participate in a new state wildfire fund. A federal bankruptcy judge could also strip control from its management and board, or allow it to be broken up, with the pieces sold to the highest bidder.

    These tensions surfaced in a court hearing on Tuesday in which PG&E asked a bankruptcy judge to limit its liability for wildfires, and at a legislative hearing that featured the company’s chief executive on Monday in Sacramento.

    Another big problem for PG&E: California’s fire season isn’t over yet. A dangerous combination of high winds and dry conditions is expected as early as Wednesday morning, and PG&E has said it could cut power to up to 150,000 customers. That works out to about 400,000 people — when accounting for shared addresses — in 16 counties across Northern California, including wine country and the Sierra foothills.

    So far this fire season, the utility has pre-emptively shut off power to nearly three million people in central and Northern California, some for as many as five days. PG&E has said the blackouts help guard against fires ignited by the sparks created when windblown tree branches hit live power lines. But critics, including state and local government officials, have said PG&E has done a poor job of warning residents about the shut-offs, which have had a disproportionate impact on low-income families that cannot afford generators or batteries, and on older and sick residents who rely on electric medical devices.

    For some, the blackouts have amounted to “a big screw-you,” said State Senator Bill Dodd, a Democrat whose district includes Napa and Sonoma, during the hearing on Monday.

    PG&E has warned that it might have to employ such blackouts for up to a decade while the utility makes up for deferred maintenance. The chief executive, Bill Johnson, told lawmakers on Monday that it aimed to move faster and reduce the number of affected customers by one-third or more starting next year. To do so, it is installing backup energy systems like microgrids, underground power lines and weather cameras.

    “It’s not acceptable to me to have another year like this,” Mr. Johnson said.

    Not everyone is willing to wait. State Senator Mike McGuire, a Democrat who represents the area where the Kincade fire burned 174 homes recently, is one of many lawmakers who have said the state should consider offering a “public option” for electricity. PG&E has already stumbled twice, he said on Monday, with a deadly 2010 gas explosion and several devastating fires in the last two years.

    “I think we’re on our third strike,” Mr. McGuire said. “They’ve failed us too many times.”

    Mr. Johnson acknowledged that state lawmakers and regulators had the power to revoke PG&E’s franchise but said those efforts would have to overcome legislative and constitutional obstacles.

    “This could turn out different ways, but we do have a plan in front of the bankruptcy court to emerge as PG&E,” he told lawmakers.

    That hostility serves as the backdrop for a fierce battle in bankruptcy court over how much money PG&E will pay wildfire victims, insurance companies, public agencies and other creditors. The company recently lost the exclusive right to propose a plan for resolving its bankruptcy. That opened the door for holders of PG&E’s bonds and the group representing wildfire victims to propose a competing plan.

    The bankruptcy judge overseeing the case, Dennis Montali, recently appointed a mediator to try to get PG&E, its bondholders and the victims to reach a settlement.

    [​IMG]

    On Monday, in an effort to reach a deal, PG&E increased the amount it is willing to pay to settle fire claims to $25.5 billion, from $18.9 billion.

    But it’s not clear whether that will satisfy all parties. While the victims and the insurance-claim holders have the biggest claims against the company, others are also fighting to maximize their share of the $25.5 billion. Federal, state and local agencies say they are owed some $7.5 billion for fighting fires started by the utility’s equipment, taking care of victims and covering other costs.

    Another big point of contention is how those claims will be paid. Under earlier proposals, holders of insurance claims, many of which were bought by hedge funds, would have gotten $11 billion in cash. But other claimants, including the wildfire victims, would have been paid almost entirely in stock in the new, reorganized PG&E. Since stock can lose value, many people and organizations would prefer cash.

    Robert Julian, a lawyer for the wildfire victims, said in bankruptcy court on Tuesday that PG&E’s settlement with the insurance-claims holders had become “the elephant in the room” in the bankruptcy. The claims holders have not attended recent mediation sessions, he said.

    “We can’t resolve this case because they’ve taken all the cash,” Mr. Julian said.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom has also come out against the deal with insurance-claim holders, calling it premature. If victims, PG&E and insurance-claim holders cannot come to an agreement, “the State of California will present its own plan for resolution of these cases,” lawyers for Mr. Newsom wrote in a recent legal filing.

    Lawyers for insurance creditors have said their clients have given up a lot by agreeing to accept $11 billion for claims that originally totaled $20 billion. Any “remorse” that fire victims’ lawyers may feel for “not moving more quickly and settling their claims is ultimately irrelevant” to the bankruptcy court’s decision about whether PG&E made the right call by settling with the insurance claim holders, the group’s lawyers wrote in a Nov. 11 court filing.

    Some California politicians are considering drastic measures. Sam Liccardo, the mayor of San Jose, has proposed turning PG&E into a customer-owned entity. All fire claims in bankruptcy would be paid in cash under that plan, according to Alan Gover, a lawyer who is working on it.

    PG&E must emerge from bankruptcy by June in order to participate in a fund that California set up this year to shield the state’s largest utilities from future wildfire claims. If there is no settlement among PG&E, fire victims and other creditors by early next year, however, two other potentially lengthy trials are set to begin. These would decide the utility’s liability to fire victims with the help of a jury and expert witnesses.

    While PG&E has repeatedly promised to pay all fire victim claims in full, bankruptcy experts say that troubled companies often find it difficult to do so, and that many victims are left with much less than they hoped for.

    “You kind of have to put ‘in full’ in quotation marks,” said Ralph Brubaker, a professor who specializes in bankruptcy at the University of Illinois College of Law.

    Judge Montali last week extended the deadline for people who lost homes and property in a PG&E-linked fire to file claims to Dec. 31, from Oct. 21. Some victims had said just days earlier that they had not yet filed claims because of confusion about the process or trouble getting back on their feet.

    “I am sure we missed thousands of people,” said Helen Sedwick, a lawyer who lost her home to fire in 2017 and has dedicated time to registering the claims of fellow survivors.

    “Many people were starting from scratch,” she said. “Once they learned about it, there was a frantic sense of ‘I need to understand this and do something quickly.’”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/business/energy-environment/pge-bankruptcy-blackout.html
     
  15. High Altitude Black Belt

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    Open up your check books Californians, because in the end, it is you who is going to pay for all of this.
     
  16. Arkain2K Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    The head of PG&E told angry California lawmakers Monday that the nation’s largest electric utility wasn’t fully prepared for the effects of its power outages.

     
  17. Arkain2K Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    An ABC10 investigation of PG&E’s federal political spending found the majority of California’s congressional delegation continued to accept money from PG&E’s federal Political Action Committees (PAC) even after the monopoly was convicted of federal crimes and blamed for sparking wildfires that killed 109 people between 2015-2018.

     
  18. Low Test With da Best Fife Island Banned

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    When you guys read that PG&E's trimming came up 66% short of target do you imagine that's due to lineworkers etc not wanting to receive a fat check and not working as much as their bosses tell them to, or you think it's more an issue of the bosses not scheduling all the necessary work in order to save the company money?
     
  19. Oliver Clothesoff Red Belt Platinum Member

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    I live in Silicon Valley and as bad as PG&E is, nobody I know wants our shitty corrupt Govt, to take over our Power Grid. In the meantime... I just bought one of these:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Arkain2K Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    PG&E reaches $13.5 billion settlement with Northern California wildfire victims
    MICHAEL JAMES AND JORGE L. ORTIZ | USA TODAY​

    [​IMG]

    Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced a $13.5 billion settlement late Friday with Northern California victims who suffered enormous losses in the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, some of the most devastating in U.S. history.

    The settlement resolves all claims made against the beleaguered company, which has been under a virtual fire of its own ever since the blazes ripped across the California landscape.

    In announcing the settlement, the company said the agreement is subject to a number of conditions that have to be met in accordance with PG&E's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan. A federal bankruptcy court will have the final say.

    “From the beginning of the Chapter 11 process, getting wildfire victims fairly compensated, especially the individuals, has been our primary goal. We want to help our customers, our neighbors and our friends in those impacted areas recover and rebuild after these tragic wildfires,” said CEO and President of PG&E Corporation Bill Johnson.

    “There have been many calls for PG&E to change in recent years. PG&E’s leadership team has heard those calls for change and we realize we need to do even more to be a different company now and in the future. We will continue to make the needed changes to re-earn the trust and respect of our customers, our stakeholders and the public. We recognize we need to deliver safe and reliable energy service every single day – and we’re determined to do just that.”

    Earlier this week, a new report by state regulators detailed how PG&E failed to properly inspect and maintain the equipment that ignited the November 2018 Camp Fire, which devastated the Northern California town of Paradise, killing 85 people and destroying 18,804 structures.

    [​IMG]

    A California Public Utilities Commission investigation of the events that led to the catastrophic blaze concluded that the company violated 12 state safety rules, which regulators deemed not a rare instance but instead “indicative of an overall pattern of inadequate inspection and maintenance of PG&E’s transmission facilities.’’

    Among the violations cited in the 696-page report: The utility neglected to conduct detailed climbing inspections that could have detected the equipment malfunction that sparked the inferno and failed to correctly prioritize a safety hazard.

    An aging tower where a worn hook broke and helped ignite the fire had not been subjected to a climbing inspection since at least 2001, the report said.

    A previous investigation by Cal Fire, the state’s fire protection agency, had determined in May that PG&E power lines actually started two blazes near Paradise, with the first one overtaking the other.

    PG&E, which in January filed for bankruptcy protection as it faced a slew of lawsuits and more than $20 billion in liability from the Camp Fire and other destructive blazes in 2017 and 2018, did not contest the CPUC findings, saying they confirm Cal Fire’s conclusions

    “Without question, the loss of life, homes and businesses is heartbreaking. The tragedy in Butte County on Nov. 8, 2018, will never be forgotten,’’ the company said in a statement. “We remain deeply sorry about the role our equipment had in this tragedy, and we apologize to all those impacted by the devastating Camp Fire.’’

    The statement also points out the steps PG&E has taken to mitigate wildfire risks, including enhanced inspections in fire-prone areas through the use of drones and climbing crews, along with accelerated repairs of damaged equipment.

    In addition, PG&E is among the utilities looking into technology-based solutions to the pressing problem of wildfires, which have become increasingly destructive for a number of reasons that include climate change, a major contributor to vegetation drying and becoming more combustible.

    https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/4362200002
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  21. tdluxon Red Belt

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    As someone who lives in NorCal and has been on pg&e for basically my whole life, I’d say a state government takeover would be an absolute disaster. The CA state government is ridiculously inefficient and there’s a huge budget deficit, it’d be from bad to worse.
     

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