Pushing Limits

Taking Back Our Power: PG & E’s Electric Grid Shut Off Threatens People with Disabilities

Deborah Kaplan

P.G.& E. expects to cut off power when fire conditions are strong this year — it’s a fire prevention measure.  But the consequences for people who use electricity for ventilators, oxygen, and other disability life supports have not been taken seriously.

These sustained power outages will have dire consequences if better preparations aren’t made — as this letter of protest from Alameda Supervisor Keith Carson made plain over a year ago.

Richard Skaff and Deborah Kaplan tell us what shut-offs will mean, how long they might last, how widespread they might be, how we may know they are coming and, most importantly, What We Can Do About It, both as individuals and as a community.

Richard Skaff

Richard Skaff is the Executive Director of Designing Accessible Communities, a member of the Coalition of Disability Access Professionals and retired from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability.  Deborah Kaplan is the founder of Enterprise Accessibility.  She has been involved in technology accessibility for many years in various roles, and was the executive director of the World Institute on Disability for 8 years.

WARNING: SPARKS OF RAGE MAY OCCUR AS A RESULT OF LISTENING TO THIS SHOW. We suggest grounding them in the well of activism and channeling them to keep that renewable energy resource strong! We’ll tell you how.

Richard Skaff has gathered treasure trove of documentation, reports and detailed solutions, and provided them to Pushing Limits.  Inform yourself by reading the documents and following the links on our website.









Stories of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E’s) egregious escapades and dastardly deeds have been a recurring theme of our news feeds for almost a decade, at least since the San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010.  People with electromagnetic sensitivity have been the canaries in the coal mine when it came to smart meters and the stories have become even more prevalent in the recent fire-ridden years. . . NOW THE FIRE’S GETTING HOTTER!

Sheela Gunn-Cushman produces and hosts.
Background support from Adrienne Lauby and Mark Romoser.


Save These Dates:

PG&E Wildfire Safety Webinar
PG&E will share information about their Community Wildfire Safety Program (CWSP).  This webinar will provide an additional opportunity for anyone who is interested in PG&E’s wildfire safety efforts to receive a presentation from PG&E leadership, ask questions and provide feedback.
Topics include:
–Expansion of the Public Safety Power Shutoff program
–Accelerated safety inspections of electric infrastructure
–Enhanced vegetation management around power lines
–Hardening the electric system for the future

Monday, July 22, 2019, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Access by clicking this link
Additional options for audio listening:
Toll-Free Attendee Dial In: 855-247-4312
Passcode: 8482036
*Event Notes:  Please note that for optimal viewing, it is best not to use VPN, but instead to connect directly to the Internet.  Please disable your pop-up blockers in order to view the content in its entirety.  This event is being streamed. It is recommended that you listen via your computer speakers.

If your question concerns disability issues, contact:
Deirdre Walke
PG&E ADA Program Manager
Phone: 916-386-5240
Email  [email protected]


PG&E Rate Hearings for Gas and Electricity

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is asking the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to increase rates for electricity and gas. This is on top of other bailout charges on your bill. We need more Oakland residents to speak up at next week’s hearing in Oakland!  Other hearings are coming up. See below for a link to the schedule.

Wednesday, July 24, 1:00 PM & 6:00 PM
Elihu M.Harris State Building, 1515 Clay St, Oakland
Submit comments online.
Find a hearing near you.
Facebook Event for Oakland Hearing.

General Information

Prepare for Powerdown is a site with general info about the public safety power shut-offs and contact info for the utility companies that will be, and are, implementing them: San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern CA Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)

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