San Jose

Mayor Wants San Jose to Break Away From PG&E, Create Own Utility

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo admits it will take a lot of time and money before the city can remove itself from the PG&E grid. But he wants to do just that and will soon ask people who live in the city to go along with him.

The mayor's plan comes a week after PG&E proactively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers across the state, including in the Bay Area.

"What happened last week was a disaster," Liccardo said.

The mayor wants San Jose to go independent, mostly, putting out a plan to have the city create its own utility. The plan would also take over power distribution from PG&E and set up its own "micro-grids" to power the population.

Liccardo said it would be an expensive undertaking, one that would first have to pass public opinion. But it's not without precedent.

Nearby Santa Clara has had its own city utility, Silicon Valley Power, for more than 120 years.

Liccardo will present the plan to the city's rules committee next Wednesday. PG&E says its facilities in San Jose are not for sale.

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