The California Public Utilities Commission is gathering feedback on a rate hike proposed by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. In a meeting last week, San Joaquin Valley mayors dialed in to express their concerns.
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer argued PG&E has bumped rates up 85% for residential customers since 2009 and the proposal would add another 54% increase through 2026. He noted the region has some of the highest poverty rates in the nation.
“Fresno County is often known as the breadbasket of the world, putting food on the tables of people across America,” said Dyer. “Yet, people who live in Fresno oftentimes are not able to put food on their own tables.”
Madera Mayor Santos Garcia said the lack of energy availability has been stalling large-scale industrial development projects in his city. And Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh pointed out that more than half of the Kern County customers fall within the low-income tier but “the discounts are still not enough,” and the hot climate means residents must buy more electricity than most other Californians.