Guess who started the Northern California wildfires?

OK, allegedly started. Maybe started. Some of them.

It wasn't boy scouts with fireworks, or someone's campfire or barbecue pit. Nor even a carelessly tossed away cigarette. Nor the illegal MJ plantations, which was my initial guess.

PG&E, which couldn't be bothered to perform normal maintenance on their electric lines--which all ought to be buried by now, one would think, and which ignored CA state law about keeping vegetation cleared along their power lines. Not only that, THIS WASN'T EVEN THE FIRST TIME!

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/10/pge-power-lines-linked-to-wine-cou...

We need publicly owned utilities and I don't care how much I have to spend for someone's pension, better a working stiff getting a pension than some parasite getting dividends.

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37 users have voted.

Comments

dkmich's picture

We can't invest in infrastructure, but bombs, nukes - hey give us all you got.

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21 users have voted.

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snoopydawg's picture

They can be held accountable for the 17, so far, people who have died from the fires. Over 3,5000 homes and other structures have been burned and whole neighborhoods look like a war zone.
The amount of damage is staggering.
Hell yes, they need to be held accountable for their actions.

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26 users have voted.

good grief

earthling1's picture

@snoopydawg
Corporations should be subject to life imprisonment without possibility of parole and immediate seizure and forfeiture of all assets.
To be fair.

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23 users have voted.
SnappleBC's picture

@earthling1

In the eyes of the law, they hold many of the same rights and privileges, but virtually none of the restrictions. When a corporate person breaks the law, they get a trivial fine... even if they knowingly caused the death of hundreds or thousands. The appropriate penalty would be something like 20 years to life which would mean, I assume, either incarcerating the executives or pulling the business license of the business for the appropriate number of years.

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22 users have voted.

I bet the pearly gates have some eloquent graffiti

snoopydawg's picture

@SnappleBC

The last two events where we saw people held accountable for their actions was the savings and loan scheme and the Enron scandal. Both of these events were prosecuted by the republicans Bushes 1 and 2,

What does this say about democrats? Feel free to fill in the blanks....

Obama is getting well rewarded for what he did and didn't do as did Bill, who showed him the rewards he'd get if he colored inside the lines.

Nadar took him to task for doing nothing as Trump destroys his legacy. Too bad he can't undo the damage from it.

IMG_1254_0.JPG

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13 users have voted.

good grief

dervish's picture

@SnappleBC I'm for holding people responsible for their decisions and actions.

I can incorporate and then go rob a liquor store, but doing so won't exonerate me. I can't blame that action on my corporation, because I made that decision.

Throw a few corporate execs in jail and watch how fast these corporations will clean up their act.

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9 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

SnappleBC's picture

@dervish

Throwing the corporation in jail generally isn't what you want since by shutting down the business you also cause disruption to the workers. That pretty much leaves throwing execs in jail. I agree that would change things. It's also hugely unlikely to happen until we get control of our own government again.

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4 users have voted.

I bet the pearly gates have some eloquent graffiti

WoodsDweller's picture

@SnappleBC
Try the corporation on criminal charges where appropriate. If convicted:
* The charter is revoked. If it is publicly held, all shares, common and preferred, become null and void. The corporate person has been given the death penalty. Bonds are unaffected.
* A new charter is issued, and the new corporate person is publicly held. All assets and obligations of the previous corporate person are transferred. Shares are distributed equally to current employees - the janitors and the executives receive the same number of shares. The company continues to do business.

The shareholders (or private owners) are wiped out. This gives them every incentive to apply strict scrutiny to company operations. It would be irrational to forego maintenance that might result in criminal charges just for a short term boost to profits, as this risks the entire investment. Maximize profits while maintaining strict adherence to all laws. If management seems to be cutting corners, initiate law suits and replace the board of directors.

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9 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

riverlover's picture

@snoopydawg I have lived in the same (newly-built) house for nearly 40 years. In NY, with trees and snow. Power lines are still above-ground. Phone and power were plowed underground here, and we had to purchase the underground cable to run primary power up the middle of the driveway.

Another several infrastructure deficits appear. In CA, I don't know if anything can be done. Hell, I don't think we have control now of at least opinions about improvements.

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10 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

@snoopydawg Snoopy.

Wonder if or when this story hits the Lame Stream Media?

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6 users have voted.

Nastarana

riverlover's picture

@Nastarana MSM is complicit. The fire films that I heard today with sound were hellish.

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7 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

thanatokephaloides's picture

We need publicly owned utilities and I don't care how much I have to spend for someone's pension, better a working stiff getting a pension than some parasite getting dividends.

Especially when the dividend monies weren't even legitimate profits, but funds diverted from legitimate expenses like line site maintenance and vegetation control.

n.b.: Burial isn't the answer for most of these power lines, either. Much of the terrain in question is a thin veneer of soil (at best) over granite bedrock. And that's before we even get into the issue of terrestrial insulation for lines bearing hundreds of thousands of volts. No matter where we're talking, lines of over 12,000 V or so are going to be aerial, as they've always been.

It also doesn't help that single-family homes have been springing up left and right in this part of California, increasing demand for electric power, and thus more power lines to worry about.

I'm glad I'm not the manager at PG&E responsible for physical plant maintenance right now.....

Bad

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13 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

joe shikspack's picture

@thanatokephaloides

a big part of the solution is for people to live off grid, thus not requiring wiring to their homes. solar and wind power with back up battery banks is workable in a lot of areas. we should be moving in that direction.

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14 users have voted.

@joe shikspack owned utilities, with where possible maybe locally generated power.

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10 users have voted.

Nastarana

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Nastarana ..... I'm served by a smaller, publicly owned electric/gas/water utility.

My grandfather, who was Mayor in the 1940s and early 1950s, is one of the parties responsible for that fact. I take considerable pride in that. Nearby Pueblo suffers under for-profit electricity and is very much unhappy with it these days.

And we're beginning the phase-out of our coal-fired plants, too!

Smile

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14 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

@thanatokephaloides

Congratulations! And I hope your successes inspire others to take back what should be public utilities from inefficient corporations.

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9 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

that is going to make it harder for people to live completely off grid. Isn't there a law that states that people who have solar panels can't use their stored electricity during a certain time or something like that?
The Koch brothers had been very busy trying to make things more difficult because they put up solar panels.
The oil companies killed public transportation when cars had just became affordable. There used to be passenger trains criss crossing this country and it's just been in the last two decades or so that states have been building them for local travel. Sure there have been trains back east, but they are newer in western states.
I remember taking the train to Montana to see relatives.

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7 users have voted.

good grief

Raggedy Ann's picture

@snoopydawg
big utilities and government is to have your wind and solar independent of the grid with a battery bank, which is what we have. Tying to the grid is how they are figuring out how to maintain control and continue to get their cut. Having your own battery bank and staying off the grid is the only way to independence. It's difficult, though. We have an old forklift battery. Not many people have room for one. We live rurally, so no problem for us.

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6 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Deja's picture

@Raggedy Ann
Completely off the grid. I love it!
I had never considered a forklift battery.

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2 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Deja
He convinced us to go solar and wind. He got a forklift battery and spoke of its virtues. We looked for one on Craig's list and a company was replacing one. It was still perfectly good and has worked for us for four years.

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2 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

@thanatokephaloides for the clarification re burial of power lines.

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7 users have voted.

Nastarana

@thanatokephaloides responsible for physical plant maintenance right now....."

And that's always the way now, some poor working stiff has to try to fix a mess created by others way above his pay grade, that he more than likely tried to warn many times of just such an instance due to short term profit driven policies. And he/she takes the heat too. While the ones who set the "tone at the top" walk away blame free. The American Way.

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13 users have voted.

...We need publicly owned utilities and I don't care how much I have to spend for someone's pension, better a working stiff getting a pension than some parasite getting dividends.

Publicly owned with good employee wages and benefits (which also helps the economy and general standard of living for Joe/sophine Average) is still cheaper than private profiteering, and with typically much better service, if the government's not corrupt.

Not to mention the fact that it's essential that anything the public needs is and remains under the public control and as a public service, so that such abuses as have occurred in Flint and Detroit can never be possible again.

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14 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Ellen North
High speed internet needs to be a public service too.

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7 users have voted.

youtube.com/watch?v=uqH49-DuH-U

weather wars. directed energy.
very unique wildfires, unique winds, unique blue flashes in sky.
strangely melted metals.
paranoia strikes deep in norCal

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5 users have voted.

bygorry

@bygorry I am inclined to think PG&E is the guilty party. I have a hard time believing that oligarchs are going to take out wineries.

Now, if the affected areas were not expensive real estate, which most of Northern CA is, I might be more inclined to credit some of the more out there theories.

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7 users have voted.

Nastarana

riverlover's picture

@bygorry Most of us did not have to physically separate wheat from chaff growing up. Even then there were bedtime stories of little girls getting sucked into farm machinery.

My parents grew up during the Depression. Did we just get sheltered from their fears or are there old rich guys now who want to be puppeteers?

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6 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

There was a lot of dead vegetation despite it being rainy last year. Just another symptom of climate change that criminals like EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, are abetting.

PBS Frontline

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5 users have voted.