$166M in fines recommended for PG&E over power outages

California regulators are being asked to fine Pacific Gas and Electric nearly $166 million for failing to properly inform customers before it cut power to millions of people last year.

The Public Advocates Office recommended the fine Friday to the state Public Utilities Commission. The office said PG&E risked lives and public safety by failing to properly communicate with customers, notify hospitals or fire departments or work with local governments before two October 2019 blackouts.

Dozens of Northern California counties had power lines de-energized so the utility could avoid the risk of downed equipment sparking wildfires during hot, windy weather.