July 10, 2018, San Francisco--TURN today said it would support AB 1054 because the bill goes further than any previous proposals in protecting customers and victims while holding investors accountable. With the utilities’ negligence, mismanagement and incompetence driving threats of financial disaster, TURN made a political calculation that AB 1054 was the best alternative on the table.
TURN Executive Director Mark Toney said “The bill isn’t perfect, but it does limit rate hikes to what is necessary for wildfire safety, and eliminates shareholder profits on those safety measures. There was no scenario in which customers could avoid all of the costs of the safety improvements that are required. The $2.5 B in foregone profits is an unprecedented shareholder contribution to wildfire safety, and a huge victory for consumers.”
Additional protections for customers will shield them from the costs of the PG&E’s current liabilities, and enable TURN to continue demanding that utilities are held to the highest possible standards where customer safety is concerned.
Key wins for customers:
- Rate protection: Wildfire Insurance Fund protects victims and customers, requires $10.5 B utility contribution and payback in cases of utility negligence.
- Wildfire Safety: Shareholders forego $2.5 B in profits from customers’ investment in wildfire safety.
- PG&E Liabilities: PG&E can’t use bankruptcy to get a ratepayer bailout for 2017/2018 fires.
- Safety Standards: Does not prevent TURN from fighting for utilities to be held to highest possible standards of safety, or demanding that the CPUC hold companies accountable and follow through on promised caps on customer costs.
Read more about the consumer protections contained in AB 1054 : http://www.turn.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/AB-1054-backgrndr2.pdf