Press Releases

May 15, 2019

Bright Energy Future Action Alert: PG&E chief to face questions about climate targets, safety goals, and the role of community choice programs in first appearance before Assembly energy committee

PG&E’s newly named CEO, Bill Johnson, will appear for the first time before the Legislature this afternoon in an oversight hearing of the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee, where he is expected to answer questions about his plans for managing the bankrupt utility.
 
The chair of the committee, Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), has said he intends to inquire about how Johnson’s experience as former head of the Tennessee Valley Authority will serve him in his new role—particularly when it comes to achieving California’s ambitious climate targets and safety goals.
 
Johnson has “stated his commitment to strengthen PG&E’s safety culture and operational effectiveness, and we want to hear his plans for implementation,” Holden said in a statement this week.
 
Johnson is taking over PG&E at a time when the utility is not only facing billions of dollars in liabilities for recent wildfires—but when many of its customers have been actively seeking alternative energy providers like community choice programs. Today, 46 percent of PG&E’s electricity load is served by community choice aggregators (CCAs), as ratepayers move away from for-profit electricity service in favor of locally-controlled, public programs committed to safety, reliability, and a greater reliance on renewable energy.
 
The latest example of this trend occurred this week when the City of San Francisco, where PG&E is headquartered, released a report exploring options for taking over PG&E’s infrastructure and delivering power on its own to customers enrolled in the city’s CCA program,  CleanPowerSF.
 
Committee staff said earlier this week that today’s hearing would not focus on PG&E’s bankruptcy or financial stability. But it will be worth tuning in to see how Johnson talks about the expanding role of CCAs—and to hear how he envisions PG&E working with community choice programs to achieve the governor’s goals for utility restructuring and California’s ambitious climate targets, all while ensuring electricity is delivered safely, reliably, and affordably.
 
Tune in to today’s hearing at the link below:

  • 1:30pm, Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee, “The Management of Pacific Gas & Electric” (Click here to watch)

While you’re tuning in, take a minute to check out CalCCA’s Bright Energy Future campaign, which is committed to promoting energy solutions that prioritize safety, empower local action, and ensure every community has access to reliable, affordable, and clean energy.
 
Join more than 60 organizations and endorse the campaign’s Principles for a Stronger, Greener, More Reliable Electric System.
 

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