More than a dozen states to open vaccines to all adults
Every adult in Louisiana over the age of 16 is now eligible to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as the state's expanded eligibility went into effect Monday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)More than a dozen states will open vaccine eligibility to all adults this week in a major expansion of COVID-19 shots for tens of millions of Americans amid a worrisome increase in virus cases and concerns about balancing supply and demand for the vaccines. Demand "has definitely decreased over the past couple of weeks,” said Imelda Garcia, head of the state’s expert vaccine allocation panel. California officials said the state can administer 3 million shots a week now, and Democratic Gov. Lena Lawson, a 37-year-old technology consultant in Phoenix, tried to book a vaccine appointment since the new eligibility rules started.
GOP's Rep. Jim Jordan won't seek Portman's US Senate seat
Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks to members of the media outside a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Portman said Monday, Jan. 25 that he won't seek reelection and plans to end a career in federal government spanning more than three decades. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)CINCINNATI – Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, a fiery Donald Trump supporter, won't run to succeed Ohio Sen. The former star college wrestler's style doesn't reflect that of Portman, a career establishment Republican with a reputation for bipartisanship. AdTrump rewarded Jordan, 56, for his steady support by giving him the Presidential Medal of Freedom before leaving office this month.
Biden's win hides a dire warning for Democrats in rural U.S.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Democrats once dominated Koochiching County in the blue-collar Iron Range of northern Minnesota. But in this month's presidential election, President Donald Trump won it with 60% of the vote. Though Democrats’ rural woes aren’t new, they now heap pressure on Biden to begin reversing the trend. In clinging to their majority, House Democrats lost rural seats, notably the one held for 30 years by Rep. Collin Peterson in western Minnesota. For now, Democrats' future in rural America rests largely on how Biden is viewed there, Heitkamp said.
Families of California wildfire victims slam PG&E for crimes
The speakers tearfully told of holiday and birthday celebrations that will never be celebrated after their loved ones perished in the November 2018 fire that nearly wiped out Paradise, California. You had the capacity to know what you were doing would kill people, said Philip Binstock, referring to PG&E executives. His 88-year-old father, Julian Binstock, was found with his dog in the shower of his Paradise, California home. Binstock noted that PG&E was previously found to have falsified safety and maintenance records for its natural gas lines to make more money before the 2018 wildfire. Wednesday was the second day of an extraordinary court proceeding that will culminate in PG&E being sentenced for 85 felony counts.
PG&E to plead guilty to deaths from California wildfire
Pacific Gas & Electric officials are to be expected to appear in court Tuesday, June 16, 2020, to plead guilty for the deadly wildfire that nearly wiped out the Northern California town of Paradise in 2018. The fire killed 85 people, but prosecutors weren't certain they could prove PG&E was responsible for one of the deaths. The proceedings will continue Wednesday when surviving family members of those who died in the 2018 wildfire will be allowed to make statements before Deems. As part of a deal with California power regulators, PG&E will replace 11 of its 14 board members. Despite PG&E's pledge to turn over a new leaf, the utility's critics fear more danger looms during an upcoming wildfire season after an unusually dry winter in Northern California.
Regulators approve PG&E bankruptcy plan despite safety fears
Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission will vote on the bankruptcy plan. U.S. District Judge William Alsup blasted PG&E for flim flamming him about its newfound commitment to safety in previous hearings. He also raised worries that state power regulators havent done enough to prevent a recalcitrant criminal from causing more death and destruction as the risk of wildfires rises with the summer temperatures. If there ever was a corporation that deserved to go to prison, it is PG&E, Alsup said. But the reforms included in PG&E's plan still might not be enough, acknowledged Clifford Rechtschaffen, one of the the five PUC board members.
PG&E asks frustrated customers not to target its employees
Some PG&E employees have received death threats in response to the shutoffs. Some PG&E employees have received death threats in response to the shutoffs, PG&E CEO Bill Johnson said Wednesday. The utility giant cut power to thousands of customers on multiple dates in October as California faced strong winds that PG&E said posed wildfire threats. He pointed to the damage in defending the outages, a practice known as Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). California Governor Gavin Newsom urged the public to remember that PG&E employees are also being affected by the shutoffs.
PG&E will give refunds to residential customers affected by shutoff
SAN FRANCISCO - After a request from the state's leader, California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) on Tuesday said it will credit customers for a power shutoff earlier this month. "It's important to remember that the sole purpose of these power shutoffs is to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the communities that we serve." The October 9 power shutoff impacted about 738,000 customers, Johnson said. PG&E will give a one-time credit of $100 to residential customers and $250 to business customers on their bills, the company said in a news release. "PG&E's mismanagement of the power shutoffs experienced last week was unacceptable."
Transmission line broke near where California wildfire ignited
PG&E became aware of an outage at 9:20 p.m., and state fire officials said a wildfire started in the area around seven minutes later. GEYSERVILLE, Calif. - California's largest utility said minutes before the Kincade Fire started, it discovered one of its high-voltage transmission lines had an outage near where the blaze later ignited. Thousands of people evacuatedThe raging wildfire prompted massive evacuations, and had destroyed 49 structures by Thursday -- commercial and residential, fire officials said. Utility company Southern California Edison said an additional 386,000 customers are under consideration for more shutoffs. The Agua Dulce area, where the Tick Fire is burning, was part of the ongoing intentional power outages, said Lois Bruce of Southern California Edison.
Why Californians are furious at utility company PG&E
Regardless of how people are choosing to vent their anger, for many Californians, the latest round of power outages is just one more misstep from PG&E. The power company came under pressure from billions of dollars in claims tied to deadly wildfires, and filed for bankruptcy in January. But PG&E's history of massive blackouts goes back decades -- many of them related to the California electricity crisis of the early-2000s. In June 2000, about 97,000 PG&E customers in the Bay Area experienced rolling blackouts due to a shortage in electricity supply. It will soon charge customers moreOn top of the power outages PG&E customers are experiencing, they can soon expect to see their bills go up.
Heat records toppled as fires burn in California
Tim Boyle/Getty Images(CNN) - Dry conditions, windy weather and high temperatures will hit Southern California, bringing extreme fire conditions that could lead to another electricity shutoff in some areas. Some areas in Southern California were setting records Tuesday. Power shutoff could affect 17 countiesThe potential power shutoff could affect 17 counties in the Sierra Foothills, North Bay, and San Mateo and Kern counties. The utility company began notifying customers by texts, emails and automated phone calls Monday that they could have their power shut off. There were eight fires burning in the state, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
PG&E shutoffs could continue 10 years
(CNN) - Power outages to prevent fires in Northern California may continue for a decade, the state's biggest utility said Friday. Utility PG&E chief executive Bill Johnson made the announcement during a California Public Utilities Commission meeting Friday. Earlier this month, PG&E shut off power to almost 800,000 customers in Northern California to lower the risk of wildfires started by the company's equipment. The power company has said that it's "probable" that its equipment started last year's Camp Fire when a powerline touched nearby trees. As the environment changes, "dealing with wildfires is the new abnormal within California," PG&E's Sumeet Singh told reporters at the time.
PG&E CEO apologizes: 'The buck stops with me'
A sign posted on the door of Saltaj Indian Cafe announces closure due to power outages on Oct. 10, 2019, in Sausalito, California. "I do apologize for the hardship but I think we made the right call on safety," said Johnson, who took over as CEO in May after heading the Tennessee Valley Authority. The night before, someone fired a bullet into a PG&E vehicle, according to the California Highway Patrol. We have thousands of men and women, literally thousands, out there right now working tirelessly to restore power, including many who actually lost power themselves," Johnson said. Gavin Newsom has blasted the utility over the outages, blaming the action on years of neglect and putting profits ahead of customers.
PG&E settles with insurance companies for $11B in Calif. wildfires
Copyright 2019 CNN(CNN) - Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced it has reached an $11 billion settlement with insurance companies for claims stemming from the devastating 2017 wildfires in northern California and the 2018 Camp Fire. A statement from the company Friday said the settlement covers 85% of the claims. "Today's settlement is another step in doing what's right for the communities, businesses, and individuals affected by the devastating wildfires," said Bill Johnson, CEO and president of PG&E Corporation. The hardest-hit town of Paradise, which was left in charred ruins, will get $270 million to resolve wildfire claims. In May, Cal Fire released a final determination that PG&E power lines did cause the Camp Fire.