Senator Henry Stern: Lack of Backup Plans for Power Shutoffs “Reckless,” Demonstrates Urgent Need for Clean Backup Power, Microgrids

October 25, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Senator Henry Stern issued the following statement as another wave of power shutoffs impacts hundreds of thousands of California residents:

We have to get through the current crises, but suffice it to say the lack of a backup plan for these public safety power shutoffs is reckless, endangering loved ones, especially the medically vulnerable, across our community. I am angry and I know you are too.

We will be holding a Senate oversight hearing on November 18th to find a better way to survive these fires. But we need to hear from you. Please send your experiences to so we can gather testimony and make your voices heard.

There is no reason we cannot immediately begin deploying clean backup power systems and microgrids across our region to make sure we keep our vulnerable people and critical infrastructure safe.”

Senator Stern sits on the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, which will convene an oversight hearing on November 18, 2019, to begin investigating and addressing the serious deficiencies with the current PSPS process.

On October 18, 2019, Senator Stern and a coalition of legislators 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, 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.