CPUC Orders Hearing on PG&E Motions for Bankruptcy Financing Exemptions

On January 14, 2019, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) issued a news release and notice to employees announcing its conclusion that initiating Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the only viable option to meet its payment responsibilities for 2017 and 2018 wildfires and restore the utility to financial stability. According to PG&E’s most recent Form 8-K Report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, PG&E and its parent company, PG&E Corporation, will file for reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California on or about January 29.

In preparation for its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, PG&E filed motions on January 18 in two open proceedings at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), seeking statutory exemptions necessary in order to arrange debtor-in-possession financing needed to cover utility obligations during the bankruptcy. The motions in Application 18-10-003 and 18-11-001 seek exemptions from sections of the California Public Utilities Code that require CPUC authorization for issuance of short- and long-term debt, and use of utility assets to secure indebtedness. Additional motions filed January 18 seek expedited action by the CPUC.

The CPUC responded on the same day, issuing an email ruling setting a hearing on the motions for 10 am, Wednesday, January 23. The CPUC’s ruling indicates that it is the CPUC’s goal to issue a proposed decision resolving the motions as quickly thereafter as possible to position the Commission to act expeditiously on the motion.

Our attorneys are monitoring proceedings related to wildfire liability at the CPUC, the legislature, and the courts, and will update on PG&E’s pending bankruptcy filing when it is filed at the Bankruptcy Court.

For more information contact Andy Brown, Lynn Haug, Samantha Neumyer or Ron Liebert.