For the first time, a presidential candidate is going after PG&E. Fresh off a win in the New Hampshire Primary, Senator Bernie Sanders put out a nearly three-minute political ad that's critical of the utility.
The video says PG&E's equipment failures over the past few years have caused over 1,500 forest fires.
Several anti-PG&E activists and survivors of the fires rail out against the utility in the campaign ad.
"PG&E is caught in a death spiral. The only way PG&E can maintain profits is to cut costs," activist Eric Ruud says in the video.
Sanders has previously said Californians are suffering because of the greed and corruption of utility corporations and their executives. The Senator visited Paradise in August where the Camp Fire was caused by a downed PG&E power line.
PG&E has released the following statement:
"The destruction caused by the wildfires of 2017 and 2018 was absolutely devastating. PG&E's most important responsibility must always be the safety of our customers and the communities we serve. We settled with past wildfire victims for $25.5 billion and we continue to work to ensure that they are paid fairly and expeditiously. We are committed to doing right by the communities impacted by wildfires, and to doing everything we can to reduce the risk of wildfires in the future. The 23,000 California employees at PG&E have made tremendous progress in the last two years to keep our customers and communities safe from the ever-increasing threat of extreme weather and wildfire, and there is much more work for us to do ahead.
Fighting climate change is bigger than politics. It requires a collective approach with all of us working together to limit and adapt to its impacts, in a way that leaves no one behind. PG&E recognizes the foundational role clean energy has in enabling this transition, and is making significant progress in doing our part with more than 85 percent of our delivered energy coming from non-emitting resources today. We stand ready to help California - and the nation - reach its bold clean energy goals and provide the safe, reliable, clean and affordable energy our customers expect and deserve."
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