Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Assigning Blame for the San Diego Wildfires

Cal Fire is already on record implicating SDG&E transmission wires in last year's San Diego wildfires, now the Consumer Protection & Safety Division of the state utilities commission is out with a 35 page report that also blames the utility (as well as Cox Commuications) for the fires. The report also accuses SDG&E of not cooperating with the investigation, although the example cited in the Union Trib's account seems pretty thin:

"Investigators singled out SDG&E for delaying the final report, saying the power company failed to fully cooperate by not making witnesses and evidence available.

One utility official “instructed me to contact SDG&E's attorneys to determine when CPSD staff would be allowed to interview SDG&E personnel,” lead investigator Mahmoud Intably wrote."

When you are being accused of starting a massive wildfire, I don't see what is so unreasonable about running requests to interview witnesses and provide evidence through your lawyer. That's pretty much common sense.

Not surpirsingly, SDG&E has called the report-- which recommends that the PUC investigate further violations-- complete bunk.