California Legislators: In Wake of Sweeping Power Shutoffs, California Must Move Rapidly Toward Community-Based Resilience

October 18, 2019

SACRAMENTO ­– A coalition of California legislators today called for an aggressive shift toward community-based resilience solutions that empower and protect families in light of sweeping public safety power shutoffs that endanger our most vulnerable and leave millions without power.

Senators Stern, Allen, Dodd, Hill, Jackson, McGuire, Skinner and Wiener and Assemblymembers Rivas, Smith and Wood issued the following statement:

“Public safety power shutoffs are a grim and dangerous reality for millions of Californians today— and for our most vulnerable, keeping the power on is a matter of life and death. The time is now to act for the sake of our families, too many of whom are left helpless and endangered.

The Legislature must move our state toward community-based resilience solutions. People’s safety cannot be left in the hands of a few massive and financially unstable utility companies and a family’s effort to protect their home cannot be their effort alone. If we are going to survive the climate emergency we are all living through, we must act now.”

Community-based resilience empowers Californians to keep themselves, their neighbors and their loved ones safe. Such a policy also holds insurance companies, utilities and other entities accountable to prioritizing community safety and modernizing their infrastructure. The coalition is calling for legislative action including but not limited to:

  1. Deploying clean distributed energy and microgrids with a focus on maintaining stable and cleanly sourced energy during PSPS and fully funding the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) to provide rebates for distributed storage installation.
  2. Home hardening and defensible space investments to help middle-class families implement wildfire mitigation measures.
  3. Hold insurance companies accountable to these mitigated risks and address mass fire insurance non-renewals that leave Californians vulnerable to major financial risk.
  4. Pass a major wildfire, drought and flood protection bond that provides billions in on-the-ground investments to reduce the severity, frequency and impacts of climate-related natural disasters.