CSAC Bulletin Article

Newsom Plays Key Role in PG&E’s Complicated and Contentious Bankruptcy Efforts

December 19, 2019

Several major decisions regarding PG&E have occurred case in recent weeks. On Tuesday December 17th, Judge Dennis Montali, the Judge overseeing PG&E’s bankruptcy, approved the PG&E’s proposed settlements of $13.5 billion to compensate wildfire victims and an $11 billion to settle claims with insurers and investors. However, Governor Newsom indicated last week that he has concerns with PG&E’s proposed reorganization plan and has urged the utility to replace its board of directors and create a better financing plan that would lower the costs to utility ratepayers.

Also at issue is Newsom’s support for including a clause in the reorganization plan that would allow California to take over the utility if it fails to meet its’ performance and safety metrics. Currently this clause is not part of the reorganization plan. In addition to the judge, PG&E needs Governor Newsom’s blessing. That’s because the governor must sign off on PG&E’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy by a June 30 deadline in order for the utility to participate in a new wildfire fund that the California Legislature created this year. CSAC will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and represent county interests.

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