Are the California wildfires Jerry Brown's Katrina?

See also: At the mercy of the Northern California wildfires

Nobody knows with certainty the cause(s) of the Northern California wildfires that have overwhelmed the capacity of governments to in any way contain them.  A few theories exist.  NASA blames lightning, but I am not sure how much credence NASA deserves.  I am much more interested in this:

The Bay Area News Group reported that emergency dispatchers in Sonoma County received multiple calls of power lines falling down and electrical transformers exploding on Sunday night, when the wildfires were first reported.

KTVU Television, Channel 2 in Oakland has been broadcasting dispatch calls:

Pacific Gas & Electric, the massive utility company of Northern California, is not much beloved or trusted hereabouts thanks to a recent horrifying example of deadly negligence: a pipeline explosion that killed eight and destroyed 38 homes in San Bruno, near SFO Airport.  George Avalos of the Mercury-News on January 26 of this year:


Credit: Michael Sah, AP.


Credit: Los Angeles Times.

A federal judge Thursday sentenced PG&E for crimes linked to the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, imposing the maximum fine of $3 million and branding the utility as a convicted felon.

The sentencing for PG&E's conviction on six criminal charges closes a devastating chapter in American corporate history, more than six years after a PG&E natural gas pipeline ruptured and unleashed a fireball that killed eight and destroyed a quiet residential neighborhood.

At a sentencing hearing in San Francisco, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson also ordered PG&E to submit to court-ordered supervision of its natural gas operations. "As a part of the sentence, the court has imposed upon PG&E a monitor to ensure the company's future compliance with the rules and regulations the company has chosen in the past to flaunt," U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch said.

Appointing a monitor for PG&E also appears to be a rebuke of the state Public Utilities Commission, a powerful regulatory agency whose duties include oversight of PG&E and other big California utilities.

"The monitor is the most significant part of this, because the monitor is crucial as we move forward to guarantee that PG&E puts the public's safety first, which they have been unwilling to do," said state Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat whose San Mateo County district includes San Bruno. "We have been paying the PUC to do this monitoring, but it is clear that the PUC is really incapable of the oversight necessary to guarantee that utilities operate safely in California."

Let's just say that when this fiery apocalypse finally ends, there is going to be avid interest in discovering if our felonious utility ensured the safety of our electricity lines with the same level of safety it lavished on the pipeline that exploded.  And what about the benevolent hand of state government, in the hands of all-seeing Jerry Brown?

Guess what Jerry Brown is focusing attention on!  That's right:

California Gov. Jerry Brown warns that catastrophic wildfires will keep ripping through the state as the climate warms. ...

He said a warming climate has contributed to catastrophic wildfires. "That's the way it is with a warming climate, dry weather and reducing moisture." said Brown. "These kind of catastrophes have happened and they'll continue to happen, and we have to be prepared to do everything we can to mitigate."

The governor has positioned himself as a leader in the fight against climate change.

And guess what Brown doesn't want anyone to focus on: the Mercury-News headlines: "Gov. Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at power line, wildfire safety" (emphasis added):

A year ago, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines went to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

It was vetoed.

The author of the measure – passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature – now says the governor missed out on a chance to tackle one of his state's longstanding vulnerabilities: massive wildfires endangering residential communities. But the governor's office and the California Public Utilities Commission say the bill duplicated efforts already underway among the CPUC, Cal Fire and utilities like PG&E.

Brown continues to plow billions of dollars into a bullet train that will be uncompetitive with airlines and is unlikely ever to be completed.  And right before his eyes, Elon Musk is developing hyperloop technology that, it is claimed, could travel from S.F. to L.A. in 30 minutes.

Jerry Brown is an age (79) where a man thinks about his legacy.  I suspect that this drives his fanaticism over global warming, carbon emissions, and having a bullet train just like the French and the Japanese ones he has envied all these years.  He has bought into an apocalyptic vision and sees himself as a savior not just for California, but for the world.

He wants to save America and the world, I bet.  After all, he is already the longest serving governor in California history, and thanks to term limits he was grandfathered out of, he always will be.

This gigantic wildfire may be his legacy instead.

We'll be watching.

See also: At the mercy of the Northern California wildfires

Nobody knows with certainty the cause(s) of the Northern California wildfires that have overwhelmed the capacity of governments to in any way contain them.  A few theories exist.  NASA blames lightning, but I am not sure how much credence NASA deserves.  I am much more interested in this:

The Bay Area News Group reported that emergency dispatchers in Sonoma County received multiple calls of power lines falling down and electrical transformers exploding on Sunday night, when the wildfires were first reported.

KTVU Television, Channel 2 in Oakland has been broadcasting dispatch calls:

Pacific Gas & Electric, the massive utility company of Northern California, is not much beloved or trusted hereabouts thanks to a recent horrifying example of deadly negligence: a pipeline explosion that killed eight and destroyed 38 homes in San Bruno, near SFO Airport.  George Avalos of the Mercury-News on January 26 of this year:


Credit: Michael Sah, AP.


Credit: Los Angeles Times.

A federal judge Thursday sentenced PG&E for crimes linked to the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, imposing the maximum fine of $3 million and branding the utility as a convicted felon.

The sentencing for PG&E's conviction on six criminal charges closes a devastating chapter in American corporate history, more than six years after a PG&E natural gas pipeline ruptured and unleashed a fireball that killed eight and destroyed a quiet residential neighborhood.

At a sentencing hearing in San Francisco, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson also ordered PG&E to submit to court-ordered supervision of its natural gas operations. "As a part of the sentence, the court has imposed upon PG&E a monitor to ensure the company's future compliance with the rules and regulations the company has chosen in the past to flaunt," U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch said.

Appointing a monitor for PG&E also appears to be a rebuke of the state Public Utilities Commission, a powerful regulatory agency whose duties include oversight of PG&E and other big California utilities.

"The monitor is the most significant part of this, because the monitor is crucial as we move forward to guarantee that PG&E puts the public's safety first, which they have been unwilling to do," said state Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat whose San Mateo County district includes San Bruno. "We have been paying the PUC to do this monitoring, but it is clear that the PUC is really incapable of the oversight necessary to guarantee that utilities operate safely in California."

Let's just say that when this fiery apocalypse finally ends, there is going to be avid interest in discovering if our felonious utility ensured the safety of our electricity lines with the same level of safety it lavished on the pipeline that exploded.  And what about the benevolent hand of state government, in the hands of all-seeing Jerry Brown?

Guess what Jerry Brown is focusing attention on!  That's right:

California Gov. Jerry Brown warns that catastrophic wildfires will keep ripping through the state as the climate warms. ...

He said a warming climate has contributed to catastrophic wildfires. "That's the way it is with a warming climate, dry weather and reducing moisture." said Brown. "These kind of catastrophes have happened and they'll continue to happen, and we have to be prepared to do everything we can to mitigate."

The governor has positioned himself as a leader in the fight against climate change.

And guess what Brown doesn't want anyone to focus on: the Mercury-News headlines: "Gov. Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at power line, wildfire safety" (emphasis added):

A year ago, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines went to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

It was vetoed.

The author of the measure – passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature – now says the governor missed out on a chance to tackle one of his state's longstanding vulnerabilities: massive wildfires endangering residential communities. But the governor's office and the California Public Utilities Commission say the bill duplicated efforts already underway among the CPUC, Cal Fire and utilities like PG&E.

Brown continues to plow billions of dollars into a bullet train that will be uncompetitive with airlines and is unlikely ever to be completed.  And right before his eyes, Elon Musk is developing hyperloop technology that, it is claimed, could travel from S.F. to L.A. in 30 minutes.

Jerry Brown is an age (79) where a man thinks about his legacy.  I suspect that this drives his fanaticism over global warming, carbon emissions, and having a bullet train just like the French and the Japanese ones he has envied all these years.  He has bought into an apocalyptic vision and sees himself as a savior not just for California, but for the world.

He wants to save America and the world, I bet.  After all, he is already the longest serving governor in California history, and thanks to term limits he was grandfathered out of, he always will be.

This gigantic wildfire may be his legacy instead.

We'll be watching.

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