Read why Erin Brockovich is supporting the PG&E settlement in the San Francisco Chronicle:
A quarter century ago, I worked to achieve justice for residents of the Mojave Desert town of Hinkley who got sick after PG&E dumped chromium-6 into their water. When we won those folks $333 million, Julia Roberts made a movie about it: “Erin Brockovich.” I later went on to fight PG&E for damages caused by its Kettleman Hills Compressor Station in Kings County, and residents there settled for $335 million. Later PG&E paid $565 million to the victims of its San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010 and was convicted in federal court of felonies.
PG&E is a convicted felon, a bad company that needed to be punished.
. . .
Why — after 25 years — do I believe that this time will be different? Because old PG&E has been shown the door. Those owning the company have been replaced by new investors, not involved before these fires. The governor demanded a refreshment of the board of directors of PG&E for the second time in two years to ensure that the distorted culture of PG&E is repaired for good. The chief executive officer? Replaced! Not enough tree trimmers? PG&E is now under the thumb of a federal judge requiring that thousands of tree trimmers work around the clock to reduce wildfire risk. Unilateral control over how much is spent on safety? No more! Newsom wisely insisted on safety benchmarks, which if not met will lead to a loss of PG&E’s license. And this company’s reign of safety terror over our state is now over.
So why do I advocate that wildfire victims accept the $13.5 billion settlement? Because it is one of the largest settlements in history, providing the money needed to rebuild your homes and your communities now. Because there is no other deal available. Because the owners, directors and officers of the old company are gone, and because the new company is now compelled to safely deliver electricity to the good people of California. Fire victims should vote “yes” to accept this settlement, and rebuild now. And if the new company somehow messes up in the future? The people will rise up again, and I’ll be standing with them fighting to make them pay.