Erin Brockovich advocates for North Bay fire victims

Erin Brockovich, whose battle against PG&E was made into a hit movie, is taking on the giant utility once again. This time it's over last October's north bay firestorms.

"It's been a 27-year experience for me of the same repetitive corporate behavior time and time again," said Brockovich. 

Brockovich is teaming with a law firm suing PG&E on behalf of  residents who lost their homes in the fires.

They are trying to get public support in stopping two proposed bills in Sacramento they say would let PG&E slide when it comes to paying damages, even though CalFire attributed the cause of 16 fires to PG&E.

"Another PG&E back room deal that's going to get them off the hook one more time," said Brockovich.

The destruction by the wildfires is estimated at $15 billion.  Some lawmakers worry about PG&E's financial stability.

Assembly Bill 33 would allow PG&E to pay for those damages through state bonds. Those bonds would be repaid by ratepayers, not the utility.

PG&E said in a statement: "The measure does not absolve pg&e from responsibility. Instead, it takes a balanced, common sense approach that will protect electric customers, the communities PG&E serves and our state's clean energy future."

"Why is it  fair for someone in Santa Cruz to pay for what happened in Santa Rosa, it just doesn't make sense," said John Franzman who lost his home in Fountaingrove.

The other bill, SB 1088, would require utilities to submit disaster plans every two years. But critics say it could potentially limit the utilities' liability in a catastrophe and could lead to higher rates.

State lawmakers could vote on the two proposed bills by the end of August.
 

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