PG&E’s Power Shutoff in California Will Affect the Most Marginalized

by Ryan Schleeter

October 10, 2019

Beginning today, California’s Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) will implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff. The shutoff is expected to impact up to 800,000 of the utility’s customers and could last for as many as seven days. Its stated purpose is to prevent potential wildfires as warm, dry weather, high winds, and the changing climate are increasing the risk of fires in California.

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Vicky Wyatt said:

“This power shutoff is a glimpse into our future if our leaders don’t act swiftly to stop the climate crisis. The science is clear that climate change increases wildfire risk, something Californians still recovering from the Camp and Woolsey Fires of 2018 know all too well. What’s worse, this shutoff will have the greatest impact on California’s most vulnerable communities. Those who don’t have the means to relocate, who will lose wages when their jobs close, who face food insecurity without refrigeration, and who will lose access to medical care — these are the people that have the most to lose in the climate crisis.

“Despite positioning itself as a leader in the fight against climate change, California remains one of the largest oil-producing states in the country. We can’t have it both ways. In order to prevent more power shutoffs and more devastating wildfires — not to mention floods, droughts, heatwaves, and other climate-fueled emergencies — it’s time for Governor Gavin Newsom to end fossil fuels in California.”



Periodic PG&E updates on the power shutoff and affected areas are available here.

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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