We recently mentioned that California’s largest public utility provider, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., or PG&E, was facing scrutiny because of California’s deadly wildfires in the fall. However, court documents filed by California’s state attorney general last week now describe how PG&E could face a variety of criminal offenses, including murder.

According to CNN, “The brief was filed in response to a request by US District Court Judge William Alsup that officials explain what crimes PG&E might potentially have committed if it were ultimately found responsible for the wildfires.” CNN continues:

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., or PG&E, could potentially face a range of criminal offenses if any of the wildfires broke out as a result of the utility failing to properly operate and maintain power lines, per an amicus brief filed in US District Court Friday by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. PG&E, which provides electricity to about 16 million Californians, has been under scrutiny for how it maintains its infrastructure amid questions about what caused the Camp Fire — the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.
According to the brief, potential charges range from minor misdemeanors related to clearing vegetation around power lines, to misdemeanors or felonies if it started the fire, up to “homicide offenses like implied-malice murder and involuntary manslaughter.”
The potential charges would be dependent on an investigation into the cause of the fire and — if PG&E were found liable — on the utility provider’s degree of negligence and recklessness.
Read the full story on CNN.

Meanwhile, read more of the latest conservation news below, and subscribe to receive the top news delivered straight to your inbox.

Recommended Reading

  • India Firefighters Now Battle Polluted Air in New Delhi (The Weather Channel)
  • The EU’s palm oil policy is triggering condemnation from the other side of the globe (CNBC)
  • Latest casualty in U.S. budget battles: a popular fund to protect parks and wildlife refuges (USA Today)
  • Concerns intensify over food producers’ impact on environment (Financial Times)
  • Garbage, feces take toll on national parks amid shutdown (San Francisco Chronicle)