University of San Diego

San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law

Library of Congress Authority File


This Article addresses California Investor-Owned Utilities’ liability for wildfire damage due to equipment failure and mismanagement. Part II highlights the doctrine of inverse condemnation and how California Courts apply the doctrine to cases involving investor-owned utilities. Part III provides an overview of the statutory and regulatory provisions that govern how a utility may recover costs through customer rates. Part IV addresses the apparent conflict between these frameworks and how utilities and regulators have sought to reconcile this conflict. Part V concludes with an overview and discussion of SB 901 which seeks to maintain utility financial stability while holding the entities accountable for their actions that gave rise to catastrophic wildfires.