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Calaveras Supervisors Make Emergency Declaration Over PG&E Power Shutoffs

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San Andreas, CA — In a unanimous vote, the Calaveras County supervisors approved a local emergency declaration as a result of two PG&E public safety power shutoffs that spanned from Oct. 23-31.

Not only did the shutoff events affected a majority of county residents Oct. 23-31, some who remained without power from one outage into the next, in recommending the action, OES Director John Osbourn pointed out that the events generated emergency conditions beyond the county’s immediate local resource capabilities, triggering ongoing financial and other implications.

In the absence of District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway and with little board discussion and no public comment, the board voted 4-0 to approve the local emergency.

PG&E, which is struggling to emerge from bankrupcy as it continues to receive widespread criticism over its decisions to power down massive areas at once during forecasted fire hazardous weather conditions, is currently under scrutiny over its practices by the state’s Public Utilities Commission. On Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom called PG&E CEO Bill johnson to his office on Tuesday for a closed-door meeting. During the session, the governor reportedly reiterated that the state would consider a potential takeover of the utility if the bankruptcy is not resolved by June 30.

Johnson, an energy executive who recently took the helm, continues to defend the utility’s actions and acknowledge process shortcomings. However, he is on record as describing the shutoffs “well planned and executed.”

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