Pacific Gas and Electric responsible for yet another fire as another bad fire year looms

Pacific Gas and Electric

I was still in California for the Camp Fire that leveled most of Paradise, in the Sierra Foothills, and emitted so much smoke that you could barely see a block down the street even 100-150 miles away, where I was in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

I had moved away in time for the Kincade Fire, but my mother is still there. And I remember being very concerned by the possibility that like a fire a few years earlier, this fire might jump Highway 101 and start burning woodland that I don’t think has burned in decades and that extends to not really all that very far away at all from my mother’s house.

Evacuations were mandatory in much of Sonoma County and my mother was among those who had to leave. It was pretty much known at the time that Pacific Gas and Electric was responsible and my mother’s fury with the company is intense. She’s not alone[1] and the company is now a twice-convicted felon, for a San Bruno gas explosion[2] and for the Camp Fire.[3] It is also emerging from a bankruptcy largely provoked by its civil liabilities.[4] Now investigators have confirmed that the company was responsible for the Kincade Fire.[5]

And from what I can see from afar, it looks to me like yet another bad fire year in California.

Dale Kasler, “California investigators blame PG&E for massive 2019 Kincade Fire in wine country,” Sacramento Bee, July 16, 2020,

  1. [1]Kevin Fixler, “From fierce winds to flames: How the Kincade fire made Sonoma County history,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, November 1, 2019,; Nathan Heller, “San Francisco’s Fire Season,” New Yorker, October 30, 2019,; Dale Kasler, “Can wildfire risk worsen? Northern California eyes more winds, another PG&E outage,” Sacramento Bee, October 28, 2019,; Dale Kasler and Hannah Wiley, “50,000 face evacuations in Sonoma County as Kincade Fire peril intensifies,” Sacramento Bee, October 26, 2019,; Randi Rossman and Will Schmitt, “Broken PG&E tower discovered near origin of Kincade fire on The Geysers geothermal power property,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, October 25, 2019,; Randi Rossmann and Will Schmitt, “Latest: Crews fighting to protect Windsor from approaching Kincade fire,” Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, October 27, 2019,; Ryan Sabalow et al., “Kincade Fire forces evacuations and burns 84 square miles, as containment drops to 5%,” Sacramento Bee, October 27, 2019,; Reis Thebault, Kim Bellware, and Andrew Freedman, “High-voltage power line broke near origin of massive California fire that forced thousands of evacuations,” Washington Post, October 25, 2019,
  2. [2]Jarod Cassidy, “PG&E Guilty of 6 Felony Charges in San Bruno Pipeline Explosion,” Thomas J. Henry, October 5, 2017,; Lyanne Melendez and Katie Marzullo, “Federal jury finds PG&E guilty of obstructing investigators,” KGO, August 10, 2016,
  3. [3]Katherine Blunt, “PG&E to Plead Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in Deadly California Wildfire,” Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2020,; Katherine Blunt and Russell Gold, “PG&E Knew for Years Its Lines Could Spark Wildfires, and Didn’t Fix Them,” Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2019,; Russell Gold and Katherine Blunt, “PG&E Had Systemic Problems With Power Line Maintenance, California Probe Finds,” Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2019,; Richard Gonzales, “Federal Judge Imposes New Probation Terms On PG&E To Reduce Wildfire Risk,” National Public Radio, April 2, 2019,; Dale Kasler, “PG&E pleads guilty to manslaughter charges for Camp Fire, deadliest in California history,” Sacramento Bee, June 16, 2020,; Joseph Serna and Taryn Luna, “PG&E power lines caused California’s deadliest fire, investigators conclude,” Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2019,; Kanishka Singh, “PG&E failed to inspect transmission lines that caused deadly 2018 wilfdfire [sic]: state probe,” Reuters, December 3, 2019,
  4. [4]Howard Blume, “PG&E reaches $13.5-billion settlement with victims of devastating California wildfires,” Los Angeles Times, December 6, 2019,; Katherine Blunt, “PG&E’s Settlement With California Fire Victims Is Fraying,” Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2020,; Dale Kasler, “PG&E makes deal to pay California wildfire victims. What it means for utility’s future,” Sacramento Bee, December 6, 2019,; J.D. Morris, “PG&E bankruptcy judge won’t approve attempt to halt fire victim votes,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 7, 2020,; Ivan Penn and Peter Eavis, “Report Detailing PG&E’s Failures Raises New Hurdles for Utility,” New York Times, December 3, 2019,
  5. [5]Dale Kasler, “California investigators blame PG&E for massive 2019 Kincade Fire in wine country,” Sacramento Bee, July 16, 2020,

On the Lincoln Project

It’s probably not worth the click, but there was an update to the last issue. The short version is that I have hot water again (yay!) and I’ve figured out what to do should the dealer once again fail to diagnose the problem with my car.

Horse race

1/8 Okay, so we see here that @HeerJeet really, really, really hates @ProjectLincoln because @danpfeiffer really isn’t all that favorable towards them either. But I like the article too.

2/8 One thing I found interesting is that @danpfeiffer perceives daylight between @ProjectLincoln and #neoconservatism, even if many #NeverTrumpers are #neoconservatives and #NeverTrump was a #neoconservative project.

3/8 @HeerJeet notices, apparently from the article, that @ProjectLincoln spends little on swing states. I notice from the article that their work seems mostly aimed inside the beltway. That’s also where #neoconservatives have the most influence.

4/8 It’s kind of a weird thing to me because #neoconservatism is the #WashingtonConsensus. Its principles, including #neoliberalism as a moral imperative, have been broadly embraced by both @TheDemocrats and the @GOP since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

5/8 But while the relative popularity of various tendencies of conservatism was not a research question in my dissertation, I definitely had the impression that there were few voters outside the beltway who would identify as #neoconservatives or with #neoconservative ideals.

6/8 #Neoconservatives work mostly behind the scenes in Washington, D.C. They occupy many positions within the military-industrial complex and @StateDept bureaucracies. And it thus looks to me like @ProjectLincoln is really more of the same, but more overtly.

7/8 @ProjectLincoln seems like @AmbJohnBolton and @BillKristol. They attract a lot of attention, but as #neoconservatives, they are but the tip of the #neoconservative iceberg, the part you see above the waterline.

8/8 If there is indeed a difference in emphasis between @ProjectLincoln and #neoconservatism, it’s that the former is rescuing the U.S. capitalist-imperialist-oligarchy from @realDonaldTrump and #neoconservatives believe that system must be aggressively defended at any cost.[1]

Dan Pfeiffer, “The Lincoln Project: Friend, Foe, or Fraud?” Crooked, July 16, 2020,


Molly O’Toole, “Despite Supreme Court ruling, Trump administration rejects new DACA applications,” Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2020, a href=”” target=”_blank”>

  1. [1]David Benfell, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, July 16, 2020,