The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) bankruptcy Plan of Reorganization on May 28, 2020. Decision 20-05-053 marks a critical step toward obtaining final Bankruptcy Court approval of the Chapter 11 petition filed on January 29, 2019 by PG&E and its parent holding company, PG&E Corporation.
The PG&E bankruptcy came after a series of major wildfires in 2017 and 2018 where the ignition points are attributed to PG&E infrastructure. In 2019 the California Legislature enacted Assembly Bill 1054, which established a Wildfire Fund funded by utility ratepayers and shareholders to pay victims for eligible claims caused by utility infrastructure. To participate in the Wildfire Fund, PG&E must resolve its bankruptcy no later than June 30, 2020 and meet other requirements including CPUC approval of the reorganization plan. The CPUC’s decision was timed to coordinate with the Bankruptcy Court proceedings and meet the aggressive AB 1054 deadline. The CPUC emphasized that, while the decision resolves some issues critical for AB 1054 compliance, it can only take “initial steps” on other issues and direct additional work to be done over time as part of the continuous oversight by the CPUC.
Following requirements established by AB 1054, Decision 20-05-053 approves the PG&E Plan of Reorganization (with additional conditions added by the CPUC) including analysis and findings on the following:
ESHD attorneys continue to monitor numerous wildfire and bankruptcy related activities at the CPUC, in the courts, and in the California Legislature. For more information contact Andy Brown or Ron Liebert.