SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — PG&E and other utilities companies could be protected from possible bankruptcy by a measure being introduced in California’s legislature.
The measure, which is being introduced by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) could shield the utilities companies from billions of dollars in liability that are suspected to be linked to 2018’s destructive string of wildfires.
Holden chairs the state Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.
“We want to send a signal to the financial markets that we are not going to leave the utilities flapping in the wind,” Kellie Smith, chief consultant for the committee, told the paper.
“If a utility goes bankrupt, that will hurt ratepayers a lot more than this mechanism we are creating to make the utility pay until it hurts,” Smith said.
It’s unclear when the bill might be submitted. A message left for Holden spokesman Garo Manjikian was not immediately returned.
“There will be a time and a place for all of this, but right now, PG&E is solely focused on helping the first responders and helping our customers recover and rebuild,” PG&E spokeswoman Andrea Menniti said Tuesday.