State lawmakers on Thursday approved a multi-billion dollar fund aimed at reforming the way utilities and the state cover the cost of future wildfires. The approval of AB 1054 creates a $21 billion fund to pay for damages linked to fires caused by utility equipment. Proponents of the bill say it limits rate increases while adding safety restrictions. But critics argue it shifts the burden of proving a utility’s negligence onto victims. We discuss the measure, which Governor Newsom is expected to sign on Friday.
Multibillion-Dollar Wildfire Fund Approved by California Lawmakers
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A bus and a vanity sit in the rubble of a home destroyed by the Carr Fire on July 28, 2018 in Redding, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Lisa Pickoff-White, data reporter and senior producer, KQED
Katharine Blunt, covers renewable energy and utilities, Wall Street Journal