PG&E officials, even as they repeatedly apologized for their shortcomings in execution, defended their decision to cut power to more than 700,000 customer accounts in advance of dangerous winds that could have sparked wildfires.
In a pointed letter to PG&E chief executive Bill Johnson issued earlier this week, commission President Marybel Batjer scolded the utility for an "unacceptable situation" and ordered a series of corrective actions, including a goal of restoring power within 12 hours, not the utility's current 48-hour goal.
Liccardo has drafted a memo to San Jose's rules committee to explore the creation of a city-owned utility similar to the ones that serve other California cities such as Palo Alto and Santa Clara.
The National Weather Service says west winds of 20 to 30 mph could pack gusts of up to 65 mph.
Utilities are securing additional crews. Heavy rain and strong winds were expected from Wednesday night into Thursday.
The fire that started Thursday night burned nearly 8, 400 acres, destroyed 17 structures and damaged dozens more. One man died of a heart attack during the fire in the Porter Ranch neighborhood, officials said.
The CPUC is holding an emergency meeting Thursday, and is requiring members of PG&E's board, C-suite and vice presidents to attend
Experts say it's hard to know what might have happened had the power stayed on, or if the utility's proactive shutoffs are to thank for California's mild fire season this year.
Areas without power includes Plumas, Yuba and Butte counties, where people are on their third day without electricity. Butte County is where a fire started by PG&E equipment last year decimated the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.