A California lawmaker wants the state to keep track of developments in the ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and its parent company.
Assemblymember Chris Holden, chair of the Assembly Energy and Commerce Committee, warned PG&E that any bankruptcy-sanctioned reorganization must not jeopardize the state's "safety, energy reliability and climate change goals."
The resolution also states that the legislature expects the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and any other state entity representing California in the bankruptcy proceedings to ensure that wildfire victims deemed PG&E's responsibility have their damages "resolved equitably." The CPUC and other state agencies must also ensure that "rank-and-file PG&E employees continue to receive wages," and that the utility's executive compensation be restricted.
Holden expressed concern about a "ripple effect" from the PG&E bankruptcy on the state. "There is a lot at stake, and we want to make clear that the outcome must prioritize victims, ratepayers and reorganization” of the utility.
Los Angeles County sued Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) last Thursday for damages from the Woolsey Fire that charred nearly 100,000 acres, destroyed thousands of structures and killed three residents. The suit, which also names SCE parent company Edison International, seeks to recover more than $100 million in alleged costs and damages from the wind-driven wildfire.
"This legal action is an important and essential step toward accountability and recovery," Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said. It is the latest lawsuit against SCE since last year's fire charred more than 150 square miles. The official cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the utility told the CPUC in December that an electrical outage before the fire may have been caused by two transmission lines crossing.