PG&E tells regulators upcoming outages will go more smoothly

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Pacific Gas and Electric is promising regulators that it has learned from its mishandling of deliberate blackouts and won’t disrupt as many people’s lives during the pandemic this year. The utility again expects to rely on outages to prevent its outdated grid from starting deadly fires. The contrite pledge came Thursday during a California Public Utilities Commission hearing. PG&E’s chief regulator is trying to avoid a repeat of last autumn’s bungled blackouts that inconvenienced and infuriated more than 2 million Northern Californians. A PG&E executive predicted this year’s expected blackouts will affect far fewer customers and won’t last nearly as long.