Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is raising bills for 16 million Californians by at least $32 per month on average to bury 10,000 miles of power lines over the next ten years, as it has previously pledged.
The company is taking this step to curb the increasing number of wildfires, which have been exacerbated by the climate crisis leading to hotter and drier summers in the state.
The lines are being buried as part of a settlement reached after PG&E pleaded guilty to 84 manslaughter charges after the catastrophic 2018 Paradise fire, which was triggered by the utility company’s fallen power lines.
There is a growing concern among some Californians that PG&E is increasing rates to shift .the financial responsibility of the wildfire settlement onto its customers.
Cheryl Maynard, a survivor of the Paradise fire, expressed her frustration to the Associated Press, stating, “PG&E is getting our settlements back from us by raising rates. This has to stop.”