PG&E files for bankruptcy

Wildfire-scorched PG&E, California's biggest utility, files for bankruptcy

PG&E, owner of biggest US power utility, files for bankruptcy

PG&E said it would seek $5.5 billion in loans to get it through the bankruptcy period.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says he'll fight for PG&E's customers as the utility giant files for bankruptcy. "These agreements are still subject to the Commission's jurisdiction and the Commission maintains discretion to exercise its authority".

PG&E's demise serves to underscore the increasing vulnerability utilities face to natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes that are becoming more extreme.

NextEra earlier this month asked FERC to block the utility from amending or rejecting PPAs with several providers.

PG&E faces court in San Francisco today, a day after filing for bankruptcy.

But he warned that he was not ruling out at least some new requirements on the company if it did not come up with a plan to "solve" the problem of catastrophic wildfires in California. The company noted that, last week, Cal Fire released the results of its investigation into the 2017 Tubbs Fire, which concluded PG&E equipment did not cause the blaze. "The reason this case is filed is to stop the company from being eaten alive", said Scott McNutt, a bankruptcy attorney who teaches at the University of California, Davis School of Law.

Faced with potentially ruinous lawsuits over California's wildfires, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday in a move that could drive up rates for customers of the nation's biggest utility and reduce the size of any payouts fire victims receive. If approved, these funds would provide PG&E with necessary capital to effectively continue to operate during the Chapter 11 cases.

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He previously proposed as part of PG&E's probation that it remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines in high-wind conditions and shut off power at times when fire is a risk.

"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", PG&E interim Chief Executive Officer John Simon said.

"I just know in my heart of hearts that we need to have a change in management, which we've had some, and we need to have a change in the boardroom", Dodd said.

"With utilities, bankruptcies take multiple years", Kit Konolige, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said in an interview before the filing. It emerged from court protection three years later but obtained billions in higher rates.

Billionaires and private investment firms are lining up with competing proposals to keep PG&E Corp. from filing for bankruptcy in the aftermath of California's deadly wildfires.

FILE - In this November 10, 2018 file photo, with a downed power utility pole in the foreground, Eric England, right, searches through a friend's vehicle after the wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif. It outmaneuvered Berkshire Hathaway acquiring a small parcel of unsecured debt in Oncor Electric Delivery Co., opening a window for Sempra Energy to swoop in and strike a deal to acquire the Texas utility. He said PG&E needs to find a more sustainable way to deliver energy.

PG&E's stock is down 70 percent from about a year ago amid fears about the effects of the wildfires.

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