SAN FRANCISCO - Tensions were high Friday during an emergency meeting called by California regulators to dicuss last week's planned power shutoffs.
The President of the CPUC called the outages poorly executed. But PG&E's CEO said it was the last resort, done for the sake of public safety.
The outage encompassed 738,000 customers, equal to over 2 million people in 35 counties, more than half of all the state's counties.
"The shutoff was for safety," said Bill Johnson, CEO of PG&E.
PG&E executive Bill Johnson was the man who made the ultimate decision to cut power and all that followed.
"No fires occurred," continued Johnson.
PG&E admitted to all kinds of shortcomings but insisted that the shut off decision was justified. Many who testified were seasoned industry executives, but people who have little actual time at PG&E.
While many improvements were promised, most of it is prospective not present practice.
"In time, shutoffs will be narrower and will involve fewer customers," said Johnson.
PG&E consistently blamed climate change for much of the growth of its most fire prone territories. It spoke very little about decades of neglect, deferred maintenance and profiteering at the expense of ratepayers.
CPUC President Marybel Batjer says things need to be fixed now.
The problems are so large and so many that it's unlikely serious improvements can be made until next year.