The saga of last year’s devastating fires in California continues. California electric companies are intentionally cutting power to large portions of the state to reduce risk of fires that wiped out whole cities last year. Here is a link with current maps of the outages:
PG&E, a large utility in northern California, filed for bankruptcy as result of liability from the fires, and it is shutting down a large portion of its grid in response to forecasts of warm, dry, windy weather conditions:
Of course power outages kill people as well. Spoiled food, carbon monoxide poisoning from generators, lack of refrigeration for medicines, lack of air-conditioning, etc. increase the risk of death, especially for people with chronic medical conditions. It is entirely possible that a retrospective analysis of death rates will show that the power outages will kill more people than the fires did.
In the mean time, the politicians blame the fires on global warming. Changes in forestry management that have allow large amounts of fuel to accumulate are ignored.
Likewise inadequate building codes resulted in fires spreading by embers from house to house while leaving trees still standing, which was discussed in an earlier thread:
Ironically, several California cities are banning new natural gas connections to force all-electric homes that are even more vulnerable to power outages. The rationale is that the switch to more wind and solar power generation means that electricity now has lower carbon emissions than natural gas.
What liability should the power company have as result of intentionally cutting power?
Does California need to change it forestry policies and strengthen building codes to reduce fire dangers?
Does government mandates for all-electric homes increase the potential damages from power outages instead of mitigating them?
Are the squirrels running the nuthouse in California?