Critics did not mince words after the state gave PG&E a renewed safety certification Monday, saying that Gavin Newsom “handed a license to burn back to the most murderous corporation in history.”

If you or I pled guilty to 84 accounts of manslaughter two years ago, or even a mere four counts of manslaughter four months ago, suffice to say that we’d be looking at seriously curtailed employment and career opportunities. Yet this seems to never be the case for beleaguered-but-teflon utility PG&E, who can seemingly blow up cities without consequence.

And so it has happened again, as Cal Matters report that the state of California issued a safety certification to PG&E on Monday. According to Cal Matters, the issuance of the certification allows PG&E “to ‘recover catastrophic wildfire costs from its ratepayers’ or from a $21 billion state insurance fund partly funded by surcharges on customers’ power bills for the next 20 years.”  

Funny, this is the same PG&E that nearly one year ago today, Newsom said “no longer exists” over its then-unresolved bankruptcy filings.

According to the state’s Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, “Issuance of the safety certification does not constitute an affirmation by Energy Safety that PG&E has taken all possible steps to prevent its equipment from causing wildfires. Nor does it shield PG&E from liability or litigation.” The office adds that “It is Energy Safety’s assessment that PG&E has additional work to complete, but is taking steps to improve its operations and culture.”

Activists are understandably apoplectic. Reclaim Our Power Utility Justice Campaign campaign coordinator Mari Rose Taruc told Cal Matters, “The Newsom administration quietly handed a license to burn back to the most murderous corporation in history.”

We always thought that the most outrageous aspect to Newsom’s infamous French Laundry incident was not that he dined out during COVID-19, but that he was attending the birthday party for a PG&E lobbyist. That lobbyist may have dropped $350 on buying Gavin dinner that night, but it was obviously $350 that was very, very well spent.  

Related: Yep, PG&E Lines Responsible for Dixie Fire [SFist]

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