SACRAMENTO — Environmental activist Erin Brockovich was in Sacramento on Tuesday, lending big-name support to Camp Fire survivors struggling to get compensation from PG&E.
Brockovich called on Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to not allow the utility to file for bankruptcy.
The cause of the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire in history is still under investigation, but many place the blame on PG&E.
“They have to pay for it. They need to pay for it. They need to be accountable for what they’ve done here,” survivor Victor Porter said. “They’ve ruined not just our lives, they’ve ruined a whole bunch of people that are a lot worse off than we are.”
During a press conference on the Capitol’s south steps, Brockovich says the governor and lawmakers need to prevent PG&E from filing bankruptcy.
“You’re talking 20 years later and the problem still hasn’t been fixed. There’s no cleanup, they get away with it, they buy their way out of it,” Brockovich said. “They need to step up and be real leader and put their foot down, but do it without creating a full-on disaster.”
PG&E recently paid its CEO $2.5 million. Brockovich questioned if the utility even qualifies for bankruptcy.
“If you’re solvent, you don’t get to file bankruptcy, or Chapter 11, and the state and the PUC needs to work with them and say, ‘We’re in charge now for a while,'” she said.
Porter says with Brockovich on his legal team, he feels confident PG&E won’t be able to use bankruptcy to get out of liability. But while the legal and political battles continue, he and his wife are left waiting, living in a friend’s RV.
“We don’t know where we’re going to go. Looks like we may travel for a year,” Porter told FOX40.
PG&E released a statement later Tuesday:
“The families impacted by the wildfires of 2017 and 2018 are our customers, our neighbors and our friends and our hearts go out to those who have lost so much. We remain focused on supporting them through the recovery and rebuilding process. We understand and recognize the serious concerns raised by customers and wildfire victims and we acknowledge that while we have made progress, we have more work to do. We’re open to a range of solutions that will help make the energy system safer. Additionally, PG&E is committed to working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to continue to provide PG&E customers the safe gas and electric services they expect and need.”