Cementing itself in history as the cause of California’s deadliest wildfire, Pacific Gas & Electric has plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 2018 Camp fire in the Northern California town of Paradise.
In a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), PG&E reached the settlement with the Butte County District Attorney’s Office just recently, agreeing to pay $3.5 million in fines and penalties. However, no further charges would be pressed, which disappointed many consumer advocates hoping to hold the corporation fully accountable.
Mindy Spatt of the Utility Reform Network pointed out that “if corporations are people, as the Supreme Court has suggested, PG&E would be in jail right now. That is normally the penalty for manslaughter.”
There simply is no denying PG&E’s egregious incompetence and the consequential destruction they’ve caused. It’s incredibly important to hold them entirely accountable for the havoc they’ve wreaked across the state. Though the fine is a step in the right direction, PG&E actions contributing to nearly 1oo deaths and the loss of thousands of homes warranted a far greater punishment.