Home » Industries » PG&E and California Gov. held intense closed-door meeting over fires, blackouts
PG&E and California Gov. held intense closed-door meeting over fires, blackouts
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's governor called the chief executive of a troubled utility to his office on Tuesday for a closed-door meeting as the company struggles to emerge from a high-profile bankruptcy while facing criticism for its practice of shutting off power for millions of people to prevent wildfires.
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A spokesman for Gov. Gavin Newsom says the first-term governor "spelled out in vivid detail" how the blackouts have prevented people from "refilling lifesaving prescriptions and power breathing machines" and how small businesses and schools were closed for days.
Newsom also reiterated the state would consider a potential takeover of the utility if the bankruptcy is not resolved by June 30.
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Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. CEO Bill Johnson defended the company, telling reporters after the meeting that the power shutoffs have been "well planned and executed."
"I came to California with one basic purpose: Let's make sure we don't kill anybody at our operations," said Johnson, who worked for a Tennessee power supplier before joining PG&E in April. "I think we achieved that this year. I understand the hardship, I apologize for it, but for me, safety has to come first."