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LaMalfa Sponsors Bill To Eliminate Hazardous Trees

Northstate Congressman Doug LaMalfa is co-sponsoring a bill that would make it easier for PG&E to eliminate dangerous trees, and would help them avoid some liability with forest fires. The “Electric Reliability and Forest Protection Act”, which passed the Natural Resources Committee this week, would give utility companies pre-approval to cut down trees near power lines, rather than wait for the o.k. from the Forest Service. If a tree removal request is denied, the Forest Service would have to bear the cost of firefighting. Just this week, regulators fined PG&E 8.3 Million Dollars for failing to maintain a power line that sparked a massive blaze in Amador County that destroyed 549 homes and killed two people. The California Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday it fined PG&E $8 Million for poor tree maintenance by PG&E and its contractors and the rest for failing to report one of its power lines may have started the blaze. It was the seventh-most destructive wildfire in California history. It’s not clear if the fire could have been prevented or if PG&E had plans to remove the Gray Pine that caused the fire.