The Tri-Valley experienced relatively little inconvenience two weeks ago when PG&E cut power to many parts of Northern California over fire danger. By good fortune, few of the two million Californians who lost power were local. Nevertheless, the experience was jarring, a reminder that we live in a world with real-life hazards that we can and must mitigate with farsighted public policies and infrastructure investment.
Public leaders at many levels have criticized PG&E for lack of preparation and poor communication during the crisis. Now, the giant utility has advised us that it anticipates more outages for later this week as windy weather once again increases fire danger. As The Independent was going to press, outages were more likely north of the Bay Area, so perhaps the Tri-Valley will be spared again. We will all learn whether PG&E has learned from its recent failures and manages to communicate better with the communities it serves. In the meantime, outages like these must not become routine. Electrical power is vital to the health and welfare of our community.
We urge the Cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin, as well as Alameda County, to establish programs to help local citizens prepare for potential outages and to assist them with public information programs when they occur.