Bill Bennett, Public-Interest Fighter, dies at 92

California loses a "determined old warrior"

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On the front page of the Oct. 19, l988 issue of the Guardian, we ran a big picture of Bill Bennett with a caption that read: "Bill Bennett, the only public official in California to take on PG&E." The California Public Utilities Commission was poised to make yet another multibillion giveaway to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. — and not one public official in San Francisco was on hand to monitor the CPUC hearings and testify about the horrible impacts the rate hike to pay for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant would have on the public. Our editorial noted, "The only public official in California who has taken on the case is Bill Bennett, a member of the State Board of Equalization and a former member of the CPUC, a determined old warrior who fought Diablo from the start and continues to do so, on his own, against the odds and at considerable personal cost." William Morgan Bennett, the public official who for more than five decades fought the corporate goliaths, died Feb. 9 at his home in Kentfield after a short illness. He was 92. Today, there are other public officials out there fighting PG&E, but there is nobody who could take on PG&E and its private utility allies as effectively as Bennett.

For the full obituary, see the Bruce Blog at sfbg.com