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Group Wants Public Hearings On SDG&E Wildfire Costs

A citizen's watchdog group wants regulators to hold public hearings on San Diego Gas & Electric's request for customers to foot the bill for wildfire costs that its insurance companies won't cover.

A citizen's watchdog group wants regulators to hold public hearings on San Diego Gas & Electric's request for customers to foot the bill for wildfire costs that its insurance companies won't cover.

SDG&E filed paper work with the California Public Utilities Commission more than two years ago asking that ratepayers cover uninsured expenses of future wildfires. Last month, the company inserted a line asking that the request also include uninsured costs from the 07 fires. Some of those fires were started by SDG&E's own lines.

Diane Conklin, a spokeswoman with the watchdog group Mussey Grade Road Alliance, called SDG&E's insertion of that line a ploy.

"I would characterize it as bait and switch and unconscionable," Conklin said. "What SDG&E is saying is we're not going to worry about whether our system is safe enough for you. We're going to ask you to pay for uninsured wildfire costs forever."

SDG&E spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan said the company doesn't oppose public hearing on the matter.

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Photo of Amita Sharma

Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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