After decades of criminal malfeasance and killing people, PG&E needs to be nationalized
On Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., environmental activists and California utilities ratepayers will converge on Assemblyman Chris Holden’s holiday party, 600 N. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107, to demand that he rescind his proposal to bailout PG&E and that he support nationalizing the utilities hegemon.
Authorities investigating the origin of the 2018 Camp Fire have cited a faulty steel hook on a PG&E transmission tower as the probable cause. In November Assemblyman Chris Holden announced plans to introduce a bill to bailout PG&E from the billions of dollars in liabilities it faces for the fire. If PG&E does not receive a substantial bailout it is likely the company will have to declare bankruptcy.
Holden received $41,200 dollars in campaign contributions from the electric utilities industry in 2018 and from 2012 to 2018 received $93,800 from the same; he also chairs the Utilities and Energy Commission, whose chief consultant, Kellie Smith, has stated, “We want to send a signal to the financial markets that we are not going to leave the utilities flapping in the wind.” PG&E’s stock price tanked following the outbreak of the Camp Fire and lost 64 percent of its value from Nov. 7-15; from Holden’s announcement of a proposed bailout package on Nov. 19 to Dec. 10 the stock price appreciated 11% in value.
PG&E has a long history of corporate malfeasance which has repeatedly put the company in financial straits: in 1996 PG&E settled with plaintiffs in the Hinckley groundwater contamination class action lawsuit for $333 million, the largest direct action lawsuit settlement in U.S. history; PG&E was found guilty of six felony charges and fined $97.5 million for its culpability in the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion which killed eight people; and SB 901, a bailout of PG&E to save the company from bankruptcy arising from the company’s liabilities for the 2017 wine country fire, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Sept. 21, 2018.
Activists will pack the party, hold protest signs and sing Christmas carols with lyrics altered for the occasion to demand that PG&E does not receive a further bailout and that the company which has the blood of scores of Californians on its hands be nationalized.