FLOOR ALERT: SB 884 (McGuire) - Expedited Undergrounding Program - Support

The Hayward Chamber of Commerce respectfully requests support for Senate Bill 884 (McGuire), which would allow for the review and approval of multi-year Wildfire Mitigation Plans, specifically placing overheard electrical equipment underground as a risk reduction measure.

Like all Californians, Hayward Chamber members have experienced the devastating impacts of catastrophic wildfires, many of which have involved utility electrical equipment. Burying electrical lines in our highest fire threat communities reduces utility-caused fire ignition risk by 99 percent, will lead to less weather-driven public safety power shut off events, and will promote greater overall grid reliability as the state continues to grapple with the effects of climate change. Continued reliance on cutting and trimming trees that grow back as a primary fire mitigation tools makes little sense for customers and communities in California.

SB 884 provides a pathway for interested utilities to submit and have approved multi-year Wildfire Mitigation Plans and creates the foundation from which to adopt a state framework to not only ensure undergrounding programs are reviewed and certified as the best wildfire safety action first by the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety (OEIS), but also force utilities to bring their programs to scale and realize savings and efficiencies needed to keep customer costs as low as possible.

For those reasons, our Chamber urges an "aye" vote on SB 884.


Frank J. Ferral
President & CEO
Hayward Chamber of Commerce