California commission working to find solutions to state’s destructive wildfires

California

A commission tasked with analyzing who should pay for the cost and recovery of catastrophic wildfires in California had its first meeting today in Sacramento. 

“I’m here because I actually think we can do better there are solutions and this board gives us an opportunity to bring those forward,” said Carla Peterman with the Wildfire Cost & Recovery Commission.

The five commissioners chose former California Public Utilities member Carla Peterman as its chair.  

Utility infrastructure will be a major focus for the commission. The group is expected to make recommendations to lawmakers on how to distribute the cost of destructive wildfires.

“I’m looking forward very much to hearing the input from the audience, from stakeholders, in this process and from interested parties because we need your information, your data, your science, your ideas to develop a better system to ensure we can keep Californians safer than they have been over the last several years,” said commissioner Michael Wara.

The legislature established the group as utility companies like PG&E have recently been sued over devastating fires.

Commissioners are urging the state’s utility companies to get involved in the commission’s work.

“I will be disappointed if you hold your tongue until we’re done and then tell us that we made wrong decisions based on data that you thought was wrong but you didn’t tell us,” said commissioner Michael Kahn. 

The group has a July first deadline. Its next meeting will be in redding, the site of the deadly Carr fire.

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