U.S. California regulator to probe PG&E for mass power shut-offs

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-29 18:18:15|Editor: ZX
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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said Monday it will launch an investigation next month into the state's largest energy company and other utilities for their measures to enforce mass power outages.

The CPUC said it will review fire-prevention measures adopted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), known as Public Safety Power Shutoffs, to cut power supply to millions of California's residents amid high risks of wildfires likely to be caused by hot, dry winds.

The Californian regulator also said it will examine whether PG&E and other utilities has complied with its regulations, as well as "potential actions to ensure utilities are held accountable."

The investigation came after California Governor Gavin Newsom harshly criticized PG&E on Monday for "mismanagement" of its power equipment that led to the deadliest wild fires and mass blackouts across the state.

He vowed to held PG&E accountable for the unprecedented outages that left numerous homes and businesses without electricity during a trip to survey areas impacted by a wind-driven wildfire in northern California, dubbed the Kincade Fire, which has burnt more than 219.7 square km by Sunday night.

The four-day wildfire has forced evacuations of 180,000 residents in the state's famed Wine Country region, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

On Sunday, Newsom declared a statewide emergency because of what his office called "the effects of unprecedented high-wind events which have resulted in fires and evacuations across the state."

In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed declared a local emergency Sunday evening in response to the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, saying the city authorities will open a temporary disaster shelter in a church in the city to assist those displaced by the fire.