California Governor Gavin Newsom is reportedly considering some controversial legal changes ahead of the state's wildfire season. On Friday, Newsom announced several proposals, including legal protections for utility companies like PG&E.
"We need to prevent and fight catastrophic wildfires. This should be our top priority in this state," Newsom said.
Gov. Newsom said that no single stakeholder is responsible for the fires in which a record amount of property and acres were burned last year. PG&E went bankrupt after it was found liable for more than $50 billion in damages from the devastating Camp Fire that burned through Butte County in November 2018. The Camp Fire was California's deadliest fire on record. In Southern California, the destructive Woolsey Fire burned nearly 97,000 acres.
Newsom says his goal is to balance the cost of wildfires, while at the same time, limiting litigation and placing more responsibility on insurance companies.
"We are living in a state, remarkably, where 25 million acres are very vulnerable to very high, or extreme fire threat," Newsom added.
However Newsom said he still intends to hold PG&E accountable for their part in starting the deadly Camp Fire.
"I have no interest in engaging in the stale rhetoric of those who are in complete denial about the science, and if they need any evidence because they're intellectually incurious, come to California."
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