Governor Urging Rejection Of PG&E Bankruptcy Plan
Sacramento, CA — California Governor Gavin Newsom is urging a federal judge to reject Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) bankruptcy blueprint and renewing his threat to turn the utility into a government-run operation.
Newsom’s lawyers gave a sternly worded rebuke of PG&E’s plan in a court filing today (Wednesday). PG&E is trying to dig itself out of a financial hole created by more than $50 billion in claims stemming from a series of catastrophic wildfires blamed on the company.
While Newsom does not have the power to block PG&E’s current bankruptcy plan, he does have the leverage to make changes because the company’s plan hinges on its ability to draw upon a special insurance fund California created last summer to help insulate utilities from potential wildfire losses in the future. The governor is asserting that PG&E is trying to pressure the Public Utilities Commission into accepting a “sub-optimal plan.” Also, in this latest objection, Newsom expressed frustration that company leaders haven’t budged much since he sent a letter nearly six weeks ago expressing those concerns and despite further talks with representatives from his office.
In a statement, PG&E promised “additional changes to the plan are forthcoming. We will continue to engage with the Governor’s office to address his concerns.”
The governor’s latest move was made on the eve of a scheduled hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali that will cover a wide range of unresolved issues in the complex case.