WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 25, 2019– As California continues to suffer massive power shutoffs, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Friday vowed to assist California cities in seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding to mitigate such blackouts in the future. Earlier this year, at the urging of Senator Harris, FEMA confirmed Pre-Disaster Mitigation funds could be used toward microgrid infrastructure that would help communities be more resilient to large-scale blackouts.
“Let’s be real—in 2019, no community in America should be forced to endure an intentional blackout because an outdated electrical grid threatens to spark a devastating fire. While climate change is exacerbating conditions, we can all agree that the situation we’re in is a result of years of poor planning and misplaced priorities on the part of PG&E, as well as a broader failure by utilities across the state to adequately prepare for the wildfire challenges we now face,” said Harris.
“The long-term solution we need to ensure these mass shutoffs aren’t the new normal is a more resilient, distributed energy system in our state. We can start by upgrading and decentralizing our critical infrastructure like public safety facilities, hospitals, community centers, and schools,” Harris added. “At my urging earlier this year, FEMA confirmed that FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation funds can be used toward microgrids and other clean, distributed energy resources that would make communities more resilient to mass blackouts. As climate change continues to increase the threat of devastating wildfires, my office will do all it can to help California make our state’s electrical infrastructure more decentralized and resilient going forward.”