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Facing massive wildfire liability, PG&E seeks bankruptcy protection

Utility could face charges in Calif. wildfires

California’s largest power company, facing billions of dollars in potential liability over its role in recent California wildfires, said early Monday it intends to file for bankruptcy. Pacific Gas and Electric said it plans to file petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on or about January 29, 2019.

The company was acting under a new state law requiring it to tell employees at least 15 days before a change of control in the company – including a bankruptcy filing.

State fire investigators blamed the utility’s power lines for causing a number of California wildfires last year and in 2017.

The utility said it would keep spending on system safety as it provides gas and electric “in an environment that continues to be challenged by climate change.”

PG&E said it expects to have some $5.5 billion in financing in place to help it with ongoing operations  when it formally declares bankruptcy.  

PG&E CEO Geisha Williams resigned Sunday.