SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom laid out an ambitious plan to makeover or possibly even take over Pacific Gas and Electric unless the utility giant makes drastic changes in its fire safety and blackout record.
"PG&E as we know it cannot persist and continue. It has to be completely transformed-culturally transformed, operationally transformed, with a safety culture first and foremost."
ABC7 SPECIAL: 'Fire, Power, Wind: What Now?'
Newsom will convene a task force in the hopes of working jointly with PG&E and the Federal Bankruptcy Court to speed up the hardening of the system's 25,000 miles of lines to ensure they can withstand the high winds that have become a fact of life in California.
He also wants better planning on blackouts if they are needed to prevent fires.
If the utility can't make the grade, Newsom said he is open to other options including a takeover of the company's lines by cities and counties in the affected areas.
None of the options, however, would be easy-- and all would carry a hefty price tag.
And all of this is playing out as the clock starts ticking on yet another fire season that will return next year-- and with it, many of the same dangers the state has just experienced.
Gov. Gavin Newsom to PG&E: Get your act together, or we'll do it for you