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Letter To The Editor: Utility Companies Should Have To Pay For Starting Fires

I am a recently retired veterinarian who built a house and lived in Mariposa County since 2006. During the last year, I know of at least 11 fires caused by PG&E, and there have been three fires within three miles of my residence that are very concerning to me.

Governor Brown and state lawmakers are working right now to pass Senate Bill 901 and Assembly Bill 33 – bills they say that will improve public safety and ensure accountability of utility companies when wildfires occur. Passing these bills would actually allow utilities to pass on recovery costs to ratepayers, even when the utility company is at fault for a wildfire.

This is unfair for people on fixed incomes who cannot afford to pay higher bills while utility companies are basically given a blank check. Any such rate change should emphasize prevention, not recovery. The Governor and state legislators need to hear from us that this is not acceptable and that utility companies must be held accountable for their actions.

Dr. Ken Takeshita, MS, DVM, Diplomate ACPV

Mariposa, California

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