The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

How a Company Runs This System

Mar 4, 2019

Mounting evidence shows that PG&E, California’s largest utility, was responsible for numerous repeated safety violations that resulted in deadly wildfires. Still, politicians, state officials and courts protect and provide immunity to the company.

California lawmakers have continuously benefitted from PG&E’s political donations and clout. These politicians have blatantly covered up the company’s misdeeds. Two days after federal investigators announced that failures of PG&E equipment caused a massive gas explosion that killed eight people, injured 58 and incinerated a neighborhood in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, a previous San Francisco mayor, Ed Lee, declared, “PG&E is a great local company who gets it.”

The City of San Bruno has sued and obtained thousands of e-mails between PG&E executives and the California Public Utilities Commission. The e-mails revealed that the PG&E executives wined and dined the commission officials. One executive complained to the commission about a judge assigned to determine who should pay for pipeline upgrades, which were very costly. Later, PG&E got an administrative judge more to its liking.

After e-mails proved a very clear collusion between PG&E and the commission, the city of San Bruno appealed to the California attorney general at the time, Kamala Harris, to bring charges for this illegal cooperation. Harris did nothing.

PG&E acts and profits with impunity. No surprise. After all, it runs the system.