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What We’re Following
Candle in the wind: Much of the California Bay Area was blacked out yesterday, in a move that the state utility said would head off the risk that high winds could spark a deadly blaze. It’s being called a “preemptive blackout.” But what does that really mean? Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) started shutting down parts of the electricity grid for safety purposes last year after its fragile and poorly maintained power lines helped ignite the deadly Camp Fire in Paradise, California. But this shutdown could last a while—as much as five days in some areas. An estimated 2.4 million people could be in the dark, although the most urbanized parts of the region should be left mostly untouched.
Elected officials and citizens are criticizing the utility for creating the conditions that made this shutdown necessary. PG&E is already under state investigation for last year’s wildfire, and the utility filed for bankruptcy in January, facing billions in liability and possible criminal charges related to its safety record. CityLab’s Sarah Holder has story: The Fears That Shut the Power Off in the Bay Area
Oops: We apologize for a typo in the subject line of yesterday’s newsletter. It should have read: “The Cities Where Emissions Are Already Falling.” You can still check out our story here.
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
The most detailed map of auto emissions in America (New York Times)
Trump’s trillion-dollar hit to homeowners (ProPublica)
In France, elder care comes with the mail (New Yorker)
The climate crisis in 2050: What happens if cities act but nations don’t? (The Guardian)
What happens when your tweet becomes a subway ad (OneZero)
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