Fire Victims, Local Governments and Insurers Respond to Governor’s Wildfire Strategy
April 12, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Liebler, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-327-7500, ext. 530
Sacramento — As California continues to recover from – and prepare for – yet another potentially catastrophic wildfire season, we would like to thank Governor Newsom for his early leadership on this important issue, and for confronting head-on the challenges of catastrophic wildfires. We appreciate this Administration’s emphasis on safety as it releases a comprehensive new policy planning and discussion framework for greater statewide wildfire resiliency.
This five-point plan includes a number of areas where we stand ready to work together to tackle the challenges associated with wildfire. We are especially pleased to see the plan include reference to a catastrophic wildfire fund as a mechanism to provide compensation for fire victims and greater stability for utilities. While there are many details to be discussed, we support exploring the concept further and we look forward to working together to explore how it might take form to provide greater certainty of process for utilities and protection for victims.
We are also committed to the Governor’s principles of reducing risk, protecting victims, ensuring for safe & affordable power and holding utilities accountable. Our organizations strongly believe that the current constitutionally protected liability standard under inverse condemnation is one of the very best tools to decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfires. It incentivizes safety and facilitates actions that reduce wildfire risk as we adapt to our changing environment and become more resilient.
Our organizations have worked together as a coalition over the last year to support measures that address the multitude of issues surrounding catastrophic wildfire, including utility-caused wildfires and liability. Our goal has always been to create a safe, fair and stable system that protects victims and ratepayers, meets electricity needs, and protects against future tragedies. We believe that out of tragedy comes opportunity to work together to build a stronger and more resilient California. We look forward to the work ahead, and thank the Governor for his commitment to this critical issue.
The coalition is comprised of California State Association of Counties, Rural County Representatives of California, Urban Counties of California, League of California Cities, Up from the Ashes, Consumer Attorneys of California, Personal Insurance Federation of California, and American Property Casualty Insurance Association.