State senator calls for special session on power outages | SierraSun.com

State senator calls for special session on power outages

State Sen. Brian Dahle stood outside California Organics in Nevada City on Wednesday to talk about the PG&E shutoffs.

The president of the Nevada City grocery store and restaurant, Chris Kysar, stood nearby. Kysar said he’s taken a $60,000 loss in product, in addition to money lost in revenue, from the power shutoffs.

Kysar said he’s wary of any company as large as PG&E.

“I don’t support monopolies,” he said.

Although Kysar said he has power outage insurance, he is not covered for the power shutoffs.

Almost 50 people working at California Organics are “fearful at this point,” said Kysar, noting they can’t pay rent, and may take jobs down the hill if something isn’t done soon to help businesses.

Dahle said he asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to call for a special session before the Legislature reconvenes next year to discuss how to help those affected by the PG&E shutoffs.

“This is not something that’s going to go away,” said Dahle, noting that PG&E CEO Brian Johnson said it could take 10 years for the utility company to improve its system and avoid regular shutoffs. “We’re burning.”

Dahle said “we’re on fire” and the process for resolving the situation has been “too slow.”

Nevada County CEO Alison Lehman, who attended the press conference, said Dahle and other representatives should rely on answers from Nevada County residents.

Dahle requested county residents call the California Public Utilities Commission to issue change, and reach out to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office to urge for a special session.

— Sam Corey, The Union