Gov. Jerry Brown backs liability changes for utilities | SierraSun.com

Gov. Jerry Brown backs liability changes for utilities

Staff report

The Associated Press reports that Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday backed softening the standard that makes electric utilities financially liable when their equipment causes wildfires.

Brown sent lawmakers draft legislation allowing judges to decide how much utilities would be liable for, instead of the legal standard that holds them entirely liable for the costs of wildfires triggered by their power lines, transformers or other infrastructure.

The legislation would apply to fires sparked after Jan. 1, 2018, the report states.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. executives expect to pay more than $2.5 billion after the company's equipment was blamed for starting several 2017 wildfires that killed dozens of people in Santa Rosa.