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Roundtable: Blackouts Return To California Fire Zones

Armando Espinoza delivers paper products to a cafe in downtown Sonoma, Calif....

Photo by Noah Berger / AP

Above: Armando Espinoza delivers paper products to a cafe in downtown Sonoma, Calif., where power is turned off, on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. Pacific Gas & Electric has cut power to more than half a million customers in Northern California hoping to prevent wildfires during dry, windy weather throughout the region.

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Preemptive power outages return to California for the second time this month; Governor Gavin Newsom asks for an investigation into high gas prices; and critics accuse the San Diego City Council of election shopping in its move to place the hotel tax vote on the March primary ballot.

Aired: October 25, 2019 | Transcript

Roundtable Guests:

Shalina Chatlani, reporter, KPBS News

Robert Krier, reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Rob Nikolewski, reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Lori Weisberg, reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune

Sweltering Week Leads To Preemptive Blackouts

San Diego saw some of its hottest days of the year this week. The extreme conditions culminated with a red flag warning for much of the county, prompting San Diego Gas & Electric to enact preemptive blackouts to reduce the risk of wildfires. It's the second time this month the utility has taken such action. Similar blackouts affected hundreds of people in Northern California this week.

RELATED: PG&E Blasted For Not Being More Like SDG&E In Managing Power Shutoffs, But Is The Comparison Fair?

California's Elevated Gas Prices

While gas prices have eased in recent weeks, you don't have to drive very far to find stations still charging $4 or more per gallon. California's average fuel price is more than a dollar higher than the national average. Governor Gavin Newsom is calling on the state to investigate whether major brands are fixing prices.

RELATED: San Diego County Supervisors OK Electric Vehicle ‘Road Map’

Picking A Date For The Convention Center Vote

The San Diego city council indicated this week that it plans to place the Yes For A Better San Diego initiative on the 2020 primary election ballot. Critics of the move say the decision amounts to election shopping and violates the spirit of Measure L. Voters approved the measure in 2016, which calls for citizen initiatives to be decided during general elections. However, Measure L also grants the city discretion on election placement.

RELATED: San Diego Officials Push Tourist Tax Hike For Civic Projects

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