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California v. PG&E

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In roughly the last week, PG&E appeared to have reached a settlement with all of the claimants from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, where PG&E would pay roughly $13.5 Billion (with lots of conditions and caveats). However Governor Newsom quickly rejected this settlement.

Below are three links. The first is for an excellent CBS News Article regarding this that lays out the current scenario, the second is to a draft of the Governor’s five-page letter to PG&E rejecting this settlement (also linked in the CBS Article), and the third is PG&E’s response. The governor’s letter lays out the conditions for a settlement in accordance with AB 1054 and thus participation in the fund that mitigates liability from wildfires from 2019 onward.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pg-e-settlement-california-governor-gavin-newsom-rejects-13-5-billion-pg-e-settlement-2019-12-14/

https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/15116056/2019/12/gov-newsom-letter_dec13.pdf

https://www.pgecurrents.com/2019/10/18/pges-psps-response-bill-johnson-letter-to-gov-gavin-newsom/

I will let the readers draw their own conclusions, but in my opinion, unless PG&E negotiates an agreement with the Governor (and thus the other California government stakeholders), their chances of escaping their bankruptcy whole is minimal.

John Benson's picture

Thank John for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 16, 2019 1:04 pm GMT

I will let the readers draw their own conclusions, but in my opinion, unless PG&E negotiates an agreement with the Governor (and thus the other California government stakeholders), their chances of escaping their bankruptcy whole is minimal.

What's the expected timeline on how long this situation will continue to fester? Obviously bankruptcy is a long process, as would any attempt to reform and fix the situation. I almost worry that this will quickly seem like the status quo to Californians and lead to less definitive calls for needed action

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Dec 18, 2019 9:32 pm GMT

There is a very strong deadline June 30 - see section 3.1 in the paper linked below. PG&E very much needs the lifeline provided by AB 1054 to help cover its 2019 liabilities. Note that this is the same link I responded with this morning, albeit the preceding section.

https://www.energycentral.com/c/pip/california-wildfires-utilities-and-grid-resiliency-part-2

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 18, 2019 10:02 pm GMT

Thanks John!

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