My electric provider is SMUD. Gas is PG&E. A big transformer is on the next corner, trees all around, if it blows, I guess I may get burned down too.
A little rant here.
It is easy to be an armchair environmentalist, criticizing utilities. Granted, PG&E has some serious problems. But running a utility is complex, partially government regulated, partially beholding to your shareholders*, partially limited by not being able to truly charge customers what it takes to do all the work. *you just may be a shareholder in PG&E- depending on their profits to fund your CALPERS retirement.
I have also been listening to all the criticism of DWR with respect to the Oroville Dam. We have old dams, built at a time when downstream was mostly farmland. Nobody willing to foot the bill for needed upgrades once urban encroachment happened. And nobody wants to understand risk and unpredictability. I was involved with background investigation into the flooding caused by Don Pedro overflow and downstream levee breaks. Englebright Dam also came very close to failure during that 97 flood year. And yes, I my consulting firm worked for one of those "big bad water districts". The ones, everyone wanted to sue. The general public always knows "what should have been done" in hindsight.
The average person simply does not understand what is involved in running one of these facilities, or running a large utility. Amazingly ignorant perceptions- "but I thought living right under a dam was safe because it would hold back the water". Posted flood stage markers well above the roofs of mobile homes. No problem- "we have levees." A 100-year flood event-" oh it will not happen for 100 years". And "been through fires before, nothing new". Well, this fall's fire WAS something new. Mother Nature is unpredictable and at times untamable. The public wants their cake and eat it too. Let out too much water and you get sued for causing a water shortage; do not let out enough, and you get sued for flooding someone.