Owners of the New Bait Shop and Davey Jones Market talk to a customer in front of their store on Oct. 10, 2019 in Sausalito, California. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

PG&E's CEO Bill Johnson said Friday that it could be a decade before the company has made enough improvements to its electric infrastructure to prevent widespread pre-emptive blackouts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

What he's saying: “I think they’ll decrease in size and scope every year,” he said. “But at the same time we’re doing this the risk is not static, it’s dynamic and it goes up every year.”

What's happening: The California Public Utilities Commission grilled Johnson and other PG&E executives on Friday over a four-day power shutoff that affected roughly 2 million people in an attempt to prevent wildfires.

  • Marybel Batjer, president of the commission, said the executives "failed on so many levels on pretty simple stuff," AP reports.
  • “Making the right decision on safety is not the same as executing that decision well,” Johnson said on Friday. “PG&E has to be better prepared than it was this time.”

The bottom line: PG&E supplies electricity and gas to 16 million people, per the WSJ, and its equipment caused 19 major fires in 2017 and 2018, primarily due to wind causing vegetation to hit live wires.

Go deeper: California officials are unhappy with PG&E's power shutoffs

Go deeper

Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 19,172,505 — Total deaths: 716,327— Total recoveries — 11,608,417Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 4,902,692 — Total deaths: 160,394 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: Trump floats executive action even if stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases.

General Motors tries to revive incendiary lawsuit vs. Fiat Chrysler

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

General Motors is trying to revive an incendiary lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with explosive new allegations including bribes paid from secret offshore bank accounts and a union official acting as a double agent between the two automotive giants.

Why it matters: The extraordinary legal battle is occurring amid earth-shaking changes in the global auto industry that threaten to turn both litigants into dinosaurs if they aren't nimble enough to pivot to a future where transportation is a service, cars run on electrons and a robot handles the driving.

2 hours ago - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.