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Ten years ago, fires swept San Diego County. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) and an investigative body of the California Public Utilities Commission agreed that San Diego Gas & Electric's negligence was responsible for two of the fires and partly responsible for the third.

SDG&E tried to pass the uninsured costs ($379 million) to ratepayers. That attempt failed the first time, but now SDG&E is back, trying to collect the money. Two other investor-owned utilities, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, are lobbying the public utilities commission on SDG&E's behalf.

It's pretty obvious why Edison and PG&E are supporting SDG&E, says Sen. Jerry Hill of the13th state senate district. Those two utilities want to pass along similar costs to their ratepayers, says Hill in a letter he sent this week to the commission. Hill fought the CPUC's attempt to be easy on PG&E after it caused the destructive 2010 gas explosion in San Bruno, which is in his district.

In the letter, Hill points out that two CPUC administrative law judges have said that the $379 million can't be passed on to SDG&E ratepayers. But the commission itself has delayed a decision to overrule the administrative law judges four times, as consumers have complained bitterly of the commission's obsessive concern for utility profits at the expense of ratepayers. The vote has not yet taken place.

Hill says that in coming months he will be introducing "legislation to ensure that unreasonable or unsafe activities by utilities do not result in ratepayers bearing the expense."

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Comments

shamus Nov. 20, 2017 @ 9:29 a.m.

What about the "public" is the Utility Commission struggling with. They are there to protect us and manage the "public" asset to all of our benefit, not the share holders of utilities' stocks. This is another example of Wall Street sticking its' greedy head into our lives, because this is all about share holders rights, not ours.

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Don Bauder Nov. 21, 2017 @ 9:52 p.m.

shamus: The mission of the California Public Uilities Commission is to protect the people from the utilities. Since 2002, the mission has been to protect the utilities from the public. Best, Don Bauder

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Cassander Nov. 20, 2017 @ 10:30 a.m.

Three cheers to Sen. Hill! Now the question is, will San Diego and Orange counties' state senators join with him and co-sponsor this bill?

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Don Bauder Nov. 21, 2017 @ 9:54 p.m.

Cassander: I certainly hope so. If San Diego state politicians don't jump aboard this bill that Hill proposes to introduce, then it is time to get rid of those politicians. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 21, 2017 @ 9:56 p.m.

Mike Murphy: Of course, SDG&E, Edison, and PG&E lawyers and lobbyists will spend millions of dollars -- ratepayers' dollars, basically -- to quash such a bill. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 21, 2017 @ 9:59 p.m.

Ronald Marcus: Contact your state senators and assembly members and tell them if they don't support the bill, you will try to get as many people as possible to vote them out of office. Best, Don Bauder

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