15:17 GMT04 June 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - California has appointed an energy czar to develop a plan for a possible state takeover of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) after the utility company left millions in the dark during recent wildfires, Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

    Wildfires raged across California this month due to strong winds that forced PG&E to leave around 1.5 million without power. A state regulator launched a probe on Monday into the unprecedented number of so-called Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS) as wildfires threatened California residents.

    "The state will not hesitate to step in and restructure the utility", Newsom said on Medium.com on Friday. "To that end, I have tapped my Cabinet Secretary, Ana Matosantos, to serve as the state’s Energy Czar to lead a dedicated energy team… and prepare a plan should the state need to intervene. All options are on the table".

    Long and widespread blackouts highlighted PG&E's "culture of ineptitude" and resistance to change, the governor added.

    power outage, authorities, energy, electricity, wildfires, United States, California
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