California-based utility PG&E files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

US wildfires push energy firm PG&E to bankruptcy protection

PG&E to declare bankruptcy

PG&E estimates that it could be held liable for more than $30 billion, according to the SEC filing, not including potential punitive damages, fines or damages tied to future claims. "We believe a court-supervised process under 2 Chapter 11 will best enable PG&E to resolve its potential liabilities in an orderly, fair and expeditious fashion".

The San Francisco-based company said its decision to reorganise under Chapter 11 is tied to more than Dollars 30 billion in claims it is facing over the so-called 2018 Camp Fire in Northern California - the deadliest in the state's recent history - that left 86 people dead.

The California utility owner is in touch with large banks about so-called debtor-in-possession financing that could total between $3 billion and $5 billion, though the exact figure remains in flux and could end up being higher, said the sources, who are familiar with the matter.

PG&E's decision to replace its chief executive is likely meant to satisfy state regulators rather than investors, said Paul Patterson, an analyst who follows PG&E at Glenrock Associates LLC. On Sunday morning Geisha William officially chose to leave her position as the CEO of the company and soon after this decision PG&E appointed Mr. Josh Simon as interim CEO.

The utility's stock price is down more than 80 per cent since November, driven by fears that PG&E equipment was responsible for the wildfires that raged through Paradise, Calif., killing 86 people.

Cavanagh said that another casualty of bankruptcy could be billions of dollars of funding for clean energy initiatives created to fight the effects of climate change.

PG&E (PCG.F) has announced that it is "initiating a voluntary reorganization" as it files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It also expects that its employees will continue to be paid and receive healthcare benefits during the reorganizational process.

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"Our search is focused on extensive operational and safety expertise, and the board is committed to further change at PG&E", Kelly said in a statement.

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The state legislature cleared the way for PG&E to securitize debts related to deadly wildfires in 2017, but that does not include the costs of last year's blazes. PG&E also anticipates being able to continue its rebuilding and restoration efforts for the victims of the California wildfires of 2017 and 2018.

"It will allow us to work with our regulators, policymakers and other key stakeholders to consider a range of alternatives to provide for the safe delivery of natural gas and electric service for the long-term in an environment that continues to be challenged by climate change". He says California is on track to meet its ambitious clean energy goals, but bankruptcy could slow the transition - especially when it comes to the goal of boosting the number of electric vehicles in the state, because PG&E has put a lot of effort and resources into building vehicle-charging infrastructure. The sum should help the company fund its ongoing operations.

The group said Governor Newsom should appoint a strong pro-consumer president to the Public Utilities Commission as soon as possible to ensure that the response protects ratepayers, taxpayers and fire victims.

Investigators had previously determined that PG&E's equipment was accountable in at least 17 major wildfires in 2017, while investigations are still underway to determine the level of the company's responsibility in November's campfire.

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