BUTTE COUNTY (CBS13) — While the cause of the Camp Fire remains under investigation, PG&E stock took a huge hit Wednesday on Wall Street.
This drop comes after the utility reported trouble with one of its transmission lines minutes before the fire started. The stock lost half of its value, falling 22 percent, over five days. This was PG&E’s steepest single-day dive in a decade.
While no one from the company would comment on the dip, PG&E admits it may not survive financially if it’s found at fault.
The first of several expected lawsuits accuse the company of negligence and failing to maintain its power lines. The utility is already facing more than 200 lawsuits stemming from last year’s wine country fires with liability estimates as high as $15 billion.
The utility watchdog group TURN says PG&E threatened bankruptcy after the wine country fires, prompting lawmakers to pass legislation that some called a bailout for the company. But, SB-901 provided financial primarily for the 2017 fires and would not include bond money for the Camp Fire.
“If what’s been reported is true, then we have a serious problem and maybe it’s time the monopoly is broken up because it’s not working,” said Paradise Town Councilmember Mike Zuccolillo
PG&E released a statement to CBS13 saying in part, “Our hearts are with the communities impacted by the Camp Fire.” The utility also said it will cooperate with any investigation.