During the hearing, Garcia reflected on the tragedies that Texas recently faced in the wake of the recent winter storms. He reflected that in California’s 25th District, it isn’t the cold but instead extreme heat and winds that have led to close to 30 power outages in the last 10 months.
“These problems are a product of challenges provided by mother nature, but it is mankind and the folks responsible for our utility companies and those who represent us in government who are responsible for the failure,” said Garcia during the hearing.
Garcia went on to note that in California’s 25th District, constituents will lose power whenever the wind blows above 30 mph, something which is not an anomaly for the region. “We’ve lost lives, we’ve risked thousands of lives. We’ve been surrounded by flames when we’ve had no power and we’ve been effectively not only losing our power but also our water because many of my constituents are on wells and they’re electrically run,” said Garcia during the hearing.
After the hearing, Garcia released an additional statement on the need to modernize the electrical grid and prevent excessive Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).
“We must modernize our nation’s electrical grid and end the excessive use of PSPS so that Californians do not have to continue to wonder each day the wind blows if they will lose power, and as result oftentimes access to water and fuel as well,” said Garcia. “California has been prone to Public Safety Power Shutoffs for quite some time. These interruptions of power can even be life-threatening for some. I am pleased to know that the Science, Space, and Technology Committee is taking these situations seriously and working to find a solution.”
Garcia has long called for the end to the excessive PSPS that California has faced. You can read more from him on the issue here.
Garcia currently serves on the Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy.