PG&E Officially Files For Bankruptcy
San Francisco, CA — After signaling the intention earlier this month, today Pacific Gas and Electric filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The move came as the utility is inundated with lawsuits and wildfire liabilities that it estimates could equal around $30-billion. CAL Fire is also still investigating PG&E’s culpability related to the Camp Fire in Paradise last year. 86 people died and 14,000 homes and other buildings were destroyed.
The company indicates that it plans to eventually emerge from bankruptcy, and in the meantime will continue to prepare for the upcoming summer fire season.
John Simon, PG&E Interim CEO, states, “Our most important responsibility is and must be safety, and that remains our focus. Throughout this process, we are fully committed to enhancing our wildfire safety efforts, as well as helping restoration and rebuilding efforts across the communities impacted by the devastating Northern California wildfires. We also intend to work together with our customers, employees and other stakeholders to create a more sustainable foundation for the delivery of safe, reliable and affordable service in the years ahead. To be clear, we have heard the calls for change and we are determined to take action throughout this process to build the energy system our customers want and deserve.”
Governor Gavin Newsom also released a statement, reading, “My administration will continue working to ensure that Californians have access to safe, reliable and affordable service, that victims and employees are treated fairly, and that California continues to make forward progress on our climate change goals.”
It remains unclear what the decision’s exact impact will be related to fines and penalties that the utility has been ordered to pay fire victims over the past couple of years.