Stop PG&E From Killing Healthy Trees

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PG&E has embarked on an environmentally destructive plan to cut down healthy trees in neighborhoods throughout its 100,000 miles of transmission lines. In the San Francisco East Bay hills, for instance, there are some streets where the tallest trees on virtually every lot will be destroyed or radically cut back, devastation that will render such neighborhoods unrecognizable after PG&E crews sweep through with chainsaws to destroy the very thing that makes such neighborhoods so desirable: their natural beauty.

In the place of soaring trees, large canopies, shade, and habitat for local wildlife, PG&E will leave tree stumps and empty sky, with many remaining trees being profoundly hacked without regard for beauty or symmetry. Not only will this loss take an emotionally devastating toll on many local residents, but by degrading landscaping and destroying property value-enhancing trees, it will also negatively impact what is for many residents their single greatest asset: their homes.

Instead of allowing PG&E to kill trees, destroy local beauty and animal habitat, harm the environment, and degrade property values, the California Public Utilities Commission must force PG&E to eliminate the danger of fire by upgrading its equipment and putting lines underground. PG&E is sitting on over $1 billion in credit reserves to make these necessary upgrades. Instead of following the lead of other public utility agencies in California such as San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison which are already doing so, PG&E is determined to force local homeowners to bear the burdens associated with their attempt to limit liability from their own faulty and inadequate equipment instead.

On behalf of the millions of Californians served by PG&E, we demand that the California Public Utility Commission immediately suspend the planned destruction of healthy trees growing on our properties and on our collectively owned public lands and demand that PG&E use its considerable financial resources to protect both the environment and public safety by upgrading their antiquated infrastructure instead.

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