Protesters blame PG&E for Camp Fire at CPUC hearing

The first Public Utilities Commission meeting since the Camp Fire devastated Butte County was marked by vocal protests.

Those protesters pointing the finger directly at PG&E saying they were likely to blame for the deadly fire.

Protesters say PG&E should own up to its responsibility and any settlements should not fall on the backs of customers.

The normally orderly California Public Utilities Commission meeting was disrupted by protesters, holding a banner and demanding an investigation.

Erik Eriksen lives in Chico and drove into San Francisco for today's meeting.

Following the pipeline explosion of 2015, last years fire in Santa Rosa, and now this latest tragedy, he's asking the PUC to hold PG&E accountable.

"It happened in San Bruno, it happened in Santa Rosa, now it happened here. And, if they bail PG&E out of this and let them pass the cost of that tragedy on to rate payers then it's just going to happen again," said Eriksen.

He's asking for nothing less than a complete overhaul of how power is delivered in the state of California.

"We want to see the utility go bankrupt and the state buy it. Remove the profit incentive. It's not a radical idea. Nearly half the utilities in the country are state owned and state run."

The PUC responded with a statement saying they appreciated public concern on this matter and said following the protest, the commission "...took multiple steps related to protecting wildfire affected customers and looking at the long-term future of PG&E. We extended a consumer protection that PG&E was directed to put in place after the 2017 Northern California wildfires and approved a decision that required PG&E to implement safety recommendations to improve its safety culture and operations."

As for PG&E, KTVU reached out to the utility seeking comment and received a statement saying PG&E is aware of the protest, but referred any further questions back to the California PUC.