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In-Depth Interview: Think Tank Expert Argues for Public Ownership of PG&E

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As California endures third year of catastrophic wildfires, scholar Johanna Bozuwa of the Democracy Collaborative calls for public ownership of PG&E.Bozuwa published this article at The Nation recently, saying that Pacific Gas & Electric’s repeated acts of criminal negligence show that the utility is unfit for its mission, and that public ownership could shift the focus from profits for investors to safety and hardening of infrastructure in response to climate change.  Bozuwa is Co-Manager for the Climate and Energy Program at the Democracy Collaborative.

We trace the sordid history of PG&E’s capture of the state legislature and the Public Utilities Commission, going back to the bungled construction of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in the 1980’s, and recap its poor handling of the intentional shutdown of sections of the grid during extreme wildfire conditions. Bozuwa notes that there are many public-owned utilities across the nation, and that decentralized energy production and distribution is growing, based on home solar and other renewable sources.

You can learn more about Bozuwa and the Democracy Collaborative here.  And you can read Ben Ehrenreich’s article that we mention, here.