Strong Winds, Arid Weather Fueling Fires in CA, AZ, and NV

Strong Winds, Arid Weather Fueling Fires in CA, AZ, and NV

With relative humidity as low as 5% (wow), strong winds, temps over 100 degrees in places like Phoenix, and little rain recently, the desert Southwest is facing the “perfect” conditions for wildfires and they are getting them. Against the backdrop of these fires was a courtroom in San Francisco yesterday, where the CEO of PG&E pled guilty to each of the 81 individual counts of criminal manslaughter against the company for the deaths of the Camp Fire in 2018.

Why This Matters:  PG&E is to blame for the Camp Fire and its CEO did what he should in standing up in Court — this is what it means to be accountable.

Continue Reading 539 words
PG&E Enters Guilty Plea For Starting 2018 CA Fires, Will Pay Out $13.5 B to Victims

PG&E Enters Guilty Plea For Starting 2018 CA Fires, Will Pay Out $13.5 B to Victims

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has agreed to plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting the Camp Fire, according to court documents filed in California on Monday, CNN reported and the company has said it will not appeal. 

Why This Matters:  California and the company agreed to financial terms last Friday under which PG&E agreed to overhaul their board of directors, and now the legal settlement is done as well.

Continue Reading 433 words
A Year After Paradise, Identical Conditions Spark More Wildfires in California

A Year After Paradise, Identical Conditions Spark More Wildfires in California

A year after the deadly Camp Fire that killed 85 people in Northern California and destroyed an entire town, dry and hot conditions are creating a perfect storm for more wildfires.

Why This Matters: See where active fires are burning and whether PG&E’s planned outages are doing anything to prevent them.

Continue Reading 362 words
Microgrids the Solution to CA’s Wildfires?

Microgrids the Solution to CA’s Wildfires?

Last week the massive power shutoffs enacted by California’s largest electric utility, PG&E, affected millions of people and even lead to the death of a man whose ventilator stopped working. In the aftermath, there’s a lot of anger among PG&E customers and across the state, people are grappling with how to best address wildfire prevention. […]

Continue Reading 590 words
Do PG&E’s Shutoffs Prevent Wildfires?

Do PG&E’s Shutoffs Prevent Wildfires?

As you’ve read in our previous story, the ongoing PG&E power outages have posed not just an inconvenience but a safety risk to millions of customers across Northern California.

But is this worth it? According to MIT, occasionally switching off the electricity is an unsustainable plan for grappling with fire risks that will continue to rise in California and elsewhere as climate change accelerates.

Continue Reading 437 words
PG&E Blackouts Affect Millions of Californians

PG&E Blackouts Affect Millions of Californians

Early yesterday morning, California’s largest utility, PG&E preemptively cut off power to over 500,000 customers in an effort to avoid power lines sparking fires.

What This Means: Prolonged power outages disrupt lives and harm businesses. The shutoff created sheer chaos through much of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Continue Reading 549 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.