Today's Law As Amended

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AB-281 Transmission and distribution lines: undergrounding and fire hardening.(2019-2020)

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) It is the consensus of the scientific community that global warming is contributing to changing climate conditions within the State of California, specifically the presence of drier and hotter conditions that are favorable to the start, spread, and longevity of destructive wildfires.
(b) These changing climate conditions are a departure from California’s historical climate norms, creating additional hazards that are difficult to predict and worsening the fire risks inherent to the state.
(c) The dramatic increase in fire risk is embodied by the horrific costs of the 2017 fire season, when nearly 9,000 wildfires burned 1.2 million acres of land, destroying 11,000 structures and killing at least 47 people.
(d) The increasing peril facing California is further exemplified by the terrible damage wrought during the 2018 fire season, when more than 8,500 wildfires burned 1.9 million acres of land, destroying more than 20,000 structures and killing at least 104 people.
(e) The loss of lives is inexcusable and demands a response to limit the growing risks of wildfire to the lives of Californians.
(f) The enormous fiscal costs and risks associated with wildfires are imperiling the future of California’s citizens by threatening unsustainable financial burdens for ratepayers and taxpayers.

SEC. 2.

 Section 761.2 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

 As a part of the Electric Rule 20 program, the commission, in a new or existing proceeding, shall require electrical corporations to develop and administer programs to replace overhead electric facilities along public streets and roads, and on other public or private properties in high fire threat districts, as determined by the commission, with underground electric facilities.
SEC. 3.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.