Dave Rice 12:38 p.m., May 21
Rose Marie Scott-Blair at The Ramona Sentinel reported comments by San Diego Gas and Electric spokesperson Stephanie Donovan regarding protests filed by numerous parties against the Wildfire Expense Balancing Account (WEBA) A0908020 application filed with California's Public Utilities Commission.
If granted by CPUC, WEBA authority will allow SDG&E and other investor owned power utilities to operate under-insured power transmission and distribution facilities including overhead power lines and transformers, safe in the knowledge that consumers will be billed for any future uninsured wildfire legal costs and related expenses.
Both CPUC's Division of Ratepayer Advocates and CPUC's Consumer Protection and Safety Division have filed protests against WEBA, citing the potentially open-ended consumer liability based on energy industry standards sorely in need of updating and the absence of any reasonableness test to prevent passing onto consumers any damages from operational negligence by utilities.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company has announced that it would not seek WEBA protections in the San Bruno high-pressure gas line explosion. PG&E has already offered $100 million in immediate response compensation to area victims.
For The Ramona Sentinel's "SDG&E request for balancing account draws criticism":
For a more detailed report on opposition to WEBA's limited utility liability component: