PG&E says it can't commit to expanding tree-trimming force

A federal judge is blasting PG&E for falling far behind on its tree-trimming plan to prevent wildfires.

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 12:34 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2020 7:41 PM

Update: 7:35 p.m., Monday, March, 2, 2020 - Lawyers for Pacific Gas & Electric said the utility can't commit to hiring hundreds more tree trimmers in the way that a federal judge wants to cut the risk of starting more catastrophic wildfires in California.

Last month, the judge asked PG&E to add at least 1,100 more tree trimmers to help prevent trees and branches from falling onto its power lines and igniting.

Attorneys for PG&E said in court filings Monday that the company can't provide a deadline by which it will hire a set number of new tree trimmers and argued that they shouldn't be forced into doing so.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - A federal judge is blasting PG&E for falling far behind on its tree-trimming plan to prevent wildfires.

This all went down Wednesday afternoon and now PG&E has at least 5,400 people trimming trees.

On Wednesday, a federal judge said PG&E should plan to have more than a thousand more tree trimmers.

A judge said he was concerned that branches that are tangled in power lines could spark a fire.

The hearing comes just a day after the head of the California Public Utilities Commission this week, threatened to take away PG&E’s license if safety standards are not met.

“The understanding that if we don't change course, that there will be greater risks and we see that all around us,” Community advocate, Will Abrams said.

This hearing stems from the five-year criminal probation imposed on PG&E after its natural gas lines blew up in San Bruno in 2010. That explosion killed eight people.

Since its probation began three years ago, poorly maintained power lines have been blamed for igniting wildfires that killed nearly 130 people.

PG&E issued a statement saying, “throughout the chapter 11 process, our focus has remained on getting wildfire victims paid, continuing to deliver safe and reliable electric and gas service.”

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