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

We Pay Double!

Jan 6, 2020

Instead of rescuing all the people who had their lives destroyed by the California wildfires, politicians ran to the rescue of the utility companies! A new California law shifts costs of wildfires off utility companies and onto the population.

California utility consumers are required to pay into an insurance pool to compensate for damages caused by future wildfires. The new law creates a 21-billion-dollar insurance pool.

Half of this pool is supposed to be funded by the utility companies, but whether they will pay is hard to pin down. But the other half, the 10.5 billion dollars, will surely be paid by consumers through the utility companies charging fees on top of regular utility bills.

In addition, the new pooled insurance won’t replace private insurance that utility companies already purchase—and also charge ratepayers for. So, the new law allows utility companies to double dip into our pockets!

Countless past California wildfires were found to result from negligence and mismanagement by utility companies. According to the old law, if the utility companies’ actions were negligent, then the ratepayers must not pay for any costs resulting from that negligence. Every other state follows this same legal principle.

The new law started a new system. The San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE) all received “safety certifications” from the State of California after the law passed. With this certification, utility companies are protected by the State and allowed to charge the population for their misdeeds in causing wildfires!

As the icing on a multi-layered cake, State officials will issue billions in bonds to fund the insurance pool and pay claims to eligible fire victims. The costs and the interest on these bonds will be paid by the population!

This is not a law, but a permit for a highway robbery.