County Supervisor: SDG&E Plan Puts Money Over Lives

Utility wants to shut off power to backcountry during high winds, fire danger

By Nicole Ward
|  Friday, Aug 7, 2009  |  Updated 4:07 PM PDT
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County Supervisor: SDG&E Plan Puts Money Over Lives

Jacob said that by plunging thousands of people in the dark during high winds and fire danger, they'll be without news and information, water, the ability to cook and more.

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A controversial plan to cut off power during high winds and fire danger has drawn criticism from the chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors

SDG&E offered a group of people who support the utility's plan to shut of power during high wind and high fire danger a chance to speak to the media Friday. The utility is arguing that shutting off the power will save lives and avoid another catastrophic firestorm like the ones in San Diego County in 2003 and 2007.

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, however, said the utility company is putting profits ahead of human lives. Jacob said the company is shifting the responsibility from itself to the people it serves. Furthermore, she said, SDG&E has been ignoring practices that would make the utility safer, including replacing wooden poles with steel ones and putting power lines underground.

The supervisor called for county residents to call on their state and federal legislators.

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