Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) has conveyed its continued support of Senate Bill 167, authored by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa). SB 167 would require electric utilities to mitigate the impact their deenergization events have Californians who rely on life-support equipment.
In October 2018, over 60,000 residents in Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Sonoma, and Yuba Counties had their power shut off for up to three days in order to mitigate wildfire risk associated with extreme weather conditions. More recently, a PG&E deenergization impacted over 22,000 customers in Butte, Napa, Solano, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. Some residents called 911 with emergencies ranging from requesting welfare checks on individuals whose care required electricity to requesting an ambulance because the caller’s husband was running out of oxygen. These are the Californians SB 167 seeks to protect.
Rural areas are often populated by a higher percentage of elderly persons that rely on electricity to sustain vital health care needs. RCRC believes that SB 167 will help mitigate the impacts of deenergization on those who rely on life-support equipment.
SB 167 currently awaits consideration in the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee.