November 6, 2017

Fire Starter?

“We still don’t know whether the fires caused pole or line damage or the poles caused the fires. They may never sort it out.”

— Michael Picker, chairman of the California Public Utilities Commission, said the state may never determine whether PG&E Corp.’s electrical equipment played a role in igniting the deadly blazes near San Francisco earlier this month. The wildfires destroyed thousands of structures, but may have also burned the evidence necessary to find out what caused them.

Staggering Losses

“The fresh winter vegetables that are on people’s Thanksgiving tables won’t be there this year because of Hurricane Irma. The losses are staggering; in many cases, the tale of those losses will be multiple years … This is more than just damage contained in just one crop year.”

— Florida Agirculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, in an update to the state Senate Agriculture Committee, said Hurricane Irma, which hit the state in September, damaged crops of all kinds with losses topping $2.5 billion.

Abusing No-Fault

“No-fault abuses have long threatened to destroy New York’s auto insurance marketplace and costs the state’s auto insurance policyholders hundreds of millions annually.”

— PIANY Government Affairs Counsel Bradford J. Lachut said while discussing PIANY’s support of a new regulation issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) that aims to curb costs and abuses of New York’s no-fault insurance law. It also seeks to level the playing field for New York insurers.

The Dicamba Situation

“The whole dicamba situation, it’s something I think about night and day. … We need the technology, with all of the resistant weeds we have out there, but we don’t need the problems that we’ve had this year.”

— Tom Gere, assistant director of ag services for South Dakota’s Agriculture Department, on the problems with the herbicide dicamba. Hundreds of farmers in the Upper Midwest are reporting damage from the product and state officials are considering restrictions for the 2018 growing season that might surpass even new federal rules.

A Flood of Rain

“I looked up towards the balcony and there was this huge flood of rain coming through the roof.”

— Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who was evacuated from the Riverwind Casino in Norman on Oct. 21, during a Beach Boys concert, as violent storms ravaged parts of the state. Meteorologists later determined that an F1 tornado had torn off part of the building’s roof.