SACRAMENTO COUNTY (KRON) — Amid PG&E’s power shutoffs across the Bay Area and much of California, Gov. Gavin Newsom had harsh words Thursday about the utility company’s actions over decades that preceded this week’s widespread blackouts.
“This is not from my perspective a climate change story as much as a story about greed and mismanagement over the course of decades,” the governor said.
Newsom took aim at PG&E, saying the utility prioritizes profits over ensuring public safety.
“Those were decisions that were made by Pacific Gas and Electric. They chose not to modernize over the great over the course of many, many years.,” Newsom said.
The governor said the company’s mismanagement led to its own demise.
“What has occurred in the last 48 hours in unacceptable,” Newsom said. “What has occurred in the last 48 hours is kids staying home from school, parents that can’t bathe their kids. Folks that come home from work and can’t even find a way to get into their garage.”
The governor said what’s happened in the last two days is not something that should happen in any U.S. state in the 21st century.
“What’s happened is unacceptable and it’s happened because of neglect,” Newsom said.
Parts of the Bay Area have since received “all clear” notifications from PG&E after hundreds of thousands were affected by outages.
The utility company planned the shutoffs because of high-risk, dry fire conditions.
With the all clear notice, PG&E will start the process to restore power but it could still take days until power comes back on.
A red flag warning issues for parts of the North Bay and East Bay hills expired Thursday night, though near-critical fire weather conditions are still underway, according to the National Weather Service.