To the editor: Delaying passage of Assembly Bill 1054 would have devastating consequences for fire victims and threaten real progress on wildfire safety. (“California is inexplicably racing to pass a badly vetted wildfire bill,” editorial, July 10)
The bill strengthens California’s current safety efforts, forces electrical utility companies to be accountable for their fire safety, and helps current and future wildfire victims get justice — while providing a high level of protection to ratepayers.
Delaying passage would be like telling the firetruck to slow down on its way to a fire. Fire season is here. If a major wildfire were to occur during a monthlong pause while the Legislature recesses for the summer, victims would be unprotected and without a process to rebuild.
A catastrophic wildfire in Southern California during that period would likely push Southern California Edison toward insolvency and threaten the financial viability of public-owned utilities like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
This bill is a product of more than six months of discussions — first the governor’s Strike Team report and then the public deliberations and recommendations of the SB 901 commission. Californians and wildfire victims need the protections this bill offers, and we need them now.
Patrick McCallum, Santa Rosa
The writer co-chairs the group Up from the Ashes.