Webinar Recording: Effects of California Power Shutoffs

(11/2020) How can you pretend to care about the impact of your power shutoffs, if you're not even keeping track of who's being harmed?

After the calamitous and harmful PG&E initiated shutoffs in 2019, where millions of Californians were left in the dark, researchers from Initiative for Energy Justice (IEJ) set out to find out the depth of the economic, health, and community impact of the shutoffs on the people of California. Shockingly, it quickly came to light that no one- not PG&E, who initiated the shutoffs, nor the CPUC, who regulates the utility, was keeping track of who had been impacted by these massive, unprecedented interruptions to people's vital energy. 

On October 27th, Reclaim Our Power (ROP) joined with the Initiative for Energy Justice, Power To Live, and The Utility Reform Network to release IEJ's report on the appalling gaps in the data collection. The report steps in where PG&E and the CPUC have not, compiling data of people who are enrolled in programs for medically vulnerable people, low income communities, and those whose power was shut off. 
Lifting up the voices of people with disabilities, the webinar featured the heroic efforts of Disability Justice Culture Club, connecting medically vulnerable people to generators, power, groceries, health care, and community in the midst of a galling lack of resources and preparation from the utility and the regulator.  
ROP's Pete Woiwode and IEJ's Shalanda Baker were featured on KPFA radio in an interview (listen at the 1:08 mark) about the report, the egregious and shortsighted shutoffs, and the need to fully transform the energy system and put the power in the hands of the people, not a Wall St. corporation. 
PG&E has continued to employ power shutoffs to avoid liability for causing further deadly fires, flipping the switch five times already in 2020.