The Green Party of California's Statement on Public Ownership of Utilities

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2019

Contact: Laura Wells, 510-504-4254

San Francisco, CA -The Green Party of California released the following statement today on the state of utilities in California.
The catastrophic consequences of the recent Paradise and Woolsey fires have born horrible and predictable fruit for the victims who remain, in many instances, still homeless and without recourse. To make matters worse, the State of California and its Public Utility Commission (CPUC) is abdicating its role to hold responsible the private utility, PG&E for its decades of failure to put the public interest before its corporate profits. The CPUC is proposing to bailout the utility and foist the cost onto the ratepayers.

It also appears that the CPUC is going to further compound the problem by escalating the fees called Power Charge Indifference Adjustments (PCIA) to the mix. These charges are aimed at customers who chose to participate in Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs.  CCAs are leading the way to increase the use of clean renewable energy and accountability to the local community. The PCIA is tantamount to a punishment tax on customers of CCAs for doing what the CPUC has failed to regulate the corporate profit-driven utilities to do: cost-effectively and rapidly advance the transition to solar and other forms of sustainable energy. 

We stand with the California Alliance for Community Energy (CaCE) and demand that the PCIA change, approved last October, be halted. The Green Party of California has signed the CaCE petition "Roll Back the CPUS Attack on Our Communities". (

Californians should not be punished for moving to solar power or forced to pay the cost of private utilities’ decade-long failure to secure environmentally sustainable and secure energy production. 
As we point out in the Platform of the California Green Party: 

“California's failed attempt to deregulate energy utilities indicated the dangers of investing our energy future in the hands of an energy market committed only to maximizing profits." "A growing pool of experience shows that Municipal Utilities Districts and other public power agencies run more efficiently and provide better customer service than Investor Owned Utilities."
The Green Party of California says enough! 

 It is time for California to admit that this market driven shell game has failed, the murderous and destructive consequences are too high. NO BAILOUT OF PG&E. It’s time to place ALL PRIVATELY OWNED UTILITIES UNDER PUBLIC CONTROL AND ADMINISTRATION.           

Only these actions will allow the people of California to freely choose the most environmentally sound and cost-efficient way to move forward. Only public control will remove the incentive to treat people and their lives as subordinate pawns in an otherwise wholly market driven “cost analysis.” 
- We demand that the Legislature immediately draft legislation to this effect and to halt all expansion and investment activity by the Corporate Profit-driven Investor Owned Utilities;
- We have called for and the Legislature should immediately create Municipal Utility Districts in cooperation with Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and existing Municipal Utility Districts, to establish control over the Corporate Profit-driven Investor Owned Utility assets, and to decide investment in solar, wind and other renewable low-cost energy sources. 

We have run out of time. This is something we must do now.