By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
“If we had free market competition, SDG&E would have to absorb the costs of the fire. Quite simply, if
they raised their rates, consumers would switch to other providers.”
February 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- Sempra-owned utility San Diego Gas & Electric wants “San Diego-area utility customers to pay for nearly all of an estimated $463 million in cost not covered by insurance from the catastrophic 2007 wildfires that were triggered in large part by its power lines,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. “At stake is who ultimately pays for the fire’s destruction — ratepayers or shareholders.” SDG&E wants the ratepayers to cover 95 to 100 percent of excess wildfire and related litigation costs.