SCE Gets A Pass At Sacramento Hearing – Malibu Senator Says He Trusts Them On Blackouts

Written by on November 19, 2019

Southern California Edison escaped any serious criticism yesterday … when a state legislative committee examined power blackouts as a fire prevention tool.

Lawmakers saved their anger for P G and E … the northern California utility that blacked out millions of people earlier this fall.

P G and E was attacked for unnecessarily cutting power to parts of California last month.

“I look at what happened … as a big screw you: to your customers, to the Legislature, to the governor,” said one state legislator.

“It requires that questioning: Who in the hell designed your system?”

But that was regarding P G and E.

Malibu State Senator Henry Stern read from a list of his contituents who were effected by th last PS PS … which hit many without warning.

And he noted that a PS PS could hit his southern California people as soon as this weekend.


“What are they supposed to do to get ready for this weekend? 

“Who are they supposed to call if they are medically vulnerable???

“I should add to that list of my grandmother.

“During the last blackout … she got her power shut off without warning.

“She has medications that she needs to keep refrigerated. “

“Luckily my parents found out … she doesn’t use a cell phone so they went to her house and took her back to their house.

“She doesn’t want to go to a community resource center. I am most sensitive

“With all due respect I’m a little skeptical of that strategy being one of the anchors of your mitigation strategy.

“To have seniors expected to go to some high school and sit there for a day … like when they can barely walk … doesn’t really seem like the best way to mitigate that impact.

“So what are they supposed to do …like … it’s Monday the power may go off on Saturday.

“Who do they call if they’re worried about the power going out?

The answer from Edison … call friends or family … neighbors … or call 9 1 1 in an emergency.

Edison Vice President Phil Herrington escaped the flames that embroiled his P G and E colleagues.

At the hearing yesterday … Herrington threw cold water on any Malibu hopes of getting powerlines underground … as a way to prevent fires.


“Undergrounding is a solution one of many it is some frankly trade-offs associated with undergrounding.

“Restoration time is one of them.

“Time to install that technology is another.

“Again this isn’t solely a cost issue cost (but) the cost is significantly more…

“The cost is eight times more expensive than even our overhead covered conductor is.”

And the S C E vice president said Edison is changing is mind … and may pay for food that goes bad in refrigerators during a planned power outage .

But only under certain types of intentional outages.


“This is the first year that we have have used it I would say substantially in our mitigation program.

“This is new to our customers.

“They are not used to seeing this.

“And while we’ve done significant public outreach in terms of broadcasts and  community town halls and other events … we recognize customers are not really ready for this.

“ In recognition of that … we are adjusting our claims policy for spoilage…

“That would be food and prescriptions … things that may go bad at high temperatures…

“What we will do at least until the end of next January … for customers that have been out of power for 8 hours or more … and had of less than 12 hours of a de-energization … we will be honoring those claims.”

Notice the catch … that there has to be a lack of warning on the planned blackouts.

Southern California Edison escaped any serious criticism yesterday … especially given the scorn and anger hurled at P G and E.

Edison may be the luckiest utility in the country … operating next to those guys.

State Senator Henry Stern said the power outages in Malibu were outrageous  … but … he ended up giving Edison a great big Valentine.


“Despite the outrage that I share with my constituents … we want to see Edison make it through this.

“We’re counting on … we believe in your corporate leadership to get this done.

“I have not lost faith in this utility personally.

“We know this is hard … but we’re counting on you to work with us ends sort through this so thank you for trying to work through a very tough problem.”

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