PG&E Pleads Guilty to Cal. Wildfire Deaths

PG&E Pleads Guilty to Cal. Wildfire Deaths

On March 23, Pacific Gas & Electric announced that the company has plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the devastating 2018 Camp Fire. In the plea deal, PG&E has agreed to increase regulatory oversight and to pay the maximum fine of about $4 million. In exchange, prosecutors have agreed to withhold future criminal charges against the company related to the Camp Fire proceedings.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

3.23.20_AmGov_PG&E

Links

PG&E to plead guilty to 84 involuntary manslaughter counts over 2018 wildfire https:// www.reuters.com/article/us-pg-e-us-bankruptcy/pge-to-plead-guilty-to-84-involuntary-manslaughter-counts-over-2018-wildfire-idUSKBN21A1TJ

PG&E Plead Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in Deadly California Wildfire https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-to-plead-guilty-to-involuntary-manslaughter-charges-in-deadly-california-wildfire-11584962649 

PG&E pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Camp Fire

https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-to-plead-guilty-to-involuntary-manslaughter-charges-in-deadly-california-wildfire-11584962649 

California could buy PG&E under bankruptcy deal with Newsom                      https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-could-buy-PG-E-under-bankruptcy-deal-15146866.php

PG&E reaches bankruptcy deal with California governor

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/pge-reaches-bankruptcy-deal-with-california-governor

Assessment

  • Writing: Describe the history of California wildfires. What is the role of local and state governments in ensuring the safety of their residents in the event of a natural disaster?
  • Debate: By letting PG&E off with a “slap on the wrist”, the Californian government hasn’t done enough to ensure the safety of communities affected by natural disasters.
  • Poll: Do you think the sentence given to PG&E is too lenient?
  • Short Answer: Why was the electric utility company, PG&E, charged with 84 counts of felony manslaughter?

Current Events Quiz

1) PG&E’s faulty equipment was linked to which 2018 wildfire?  

a. Eagle Creek Fire  
b. Camp Fire
c. Thomas Fire
d. Woolsey Fire

2) The fire destroyed most of the town of _______.  

a. Oroville
b. Sonora
c. Paradise  
d. Butte Valley

3) PG&E has plead guilty to how many counts of involuntary manslaughter?

a. 101
b. 95
c. 76
d. 84

4) PG&E will pay the maximum fine of $5 million. (T/F)

5) PG&E has filed for bankruptcy twice in the past two decades. (T/F)

6) The state of California plans to buy PG&E. (T/F)

Answers

  1. B
  2. C
  3. D
  4. False
  5. True
  6. False

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Featured Image Credit: NASA

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