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State Regulator To Investigate PG&E For Blackouts

PG&E

The California agency that regulates Pacific Gas and Electric says it plans to launch a “formal investigation” into the blackouts that have left millions of people without power.

The California Public Utilities Commission says it will examine whether PG&E has complied with state regulations and requirements.

Governor Gavin Newsom says the commission must penalize PG&E for its overreliance on the shutoffs.

Newsom: “The PUC will be aggressive in that major investigation and aggressive in enforcing those protocols.” 

The commission also says it’s re-examining how utilities are using the blackouts in hopes of preventing them next fire season.

PG&E and the state’s other large private utilities have shut down electricity several times in recent weeks. They’ve said the blackouts were necessary to reduce the risk of wildfires.

The next round of outages begins Tuesday and could affect nearly 2 million people — many of whom never regained power after losing it over the weekend.