Pacific Gas and Electric CEO is resigning & the company plans on filing for bankruptcy.
Now reports have revealed that while wildfires raged, state lawmakers headed to Hawaii with utility company executives.
During the junket, representatives from utility companies discussed with the bipartisan group of lawmakers just how much responsibility they should bear for wildfires – even as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) could be on the hook for several billions of dollars in damages for fires it caused over the past few years.
The utility companies are pushing for a new state law that would raise electricity prices to offset costs incurred from wildfires, according to The New York Times.
The annual event, hosted by the nonprofit Independent Voter Project, was held in Maui in November. PG&E executives did not attend the conference because of the wildfires, but representatives from San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison did, KABC-TV reported.
Here is a list of the California politicians who headed to Maui:
The “Wailea 12”
????Rcvd more than $600K from the utilities in campaign contributions
????Are on key committees deciding the fate of legislation determining who pays for #wildfires, utilities(whose equipment was at fault), ins. cos., ratepayers or taxpayers.https://t.co/AKPAxV9z2E pic.twitter.com/1chPo2I54w
— Consumer Watchdog (@ConsumerWD) January 8, 2019
The cost of the event was $8000 per person. Of those listed above in attendance, only Frank Bigelow and Bill Brough are Republicans.
In related news, the CEO of PG&E has resigned as the company faces potential bankruptcy and possible criminal charges after last year’s deadly Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history.
Geisha Williams had been chief executive of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., or PG&E, since March 2017, when she became the first Latina chief executive of a Fortune 500 company. John Simon, the utility’s executive vice president and general counsel, will serve as interim chief executive while PG&E searches for a permanent leader, the company said.
PG&E is in crisis after the Camp Fire killed at least 85 people in Northern California last year. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told a federal judge last month that the company could be prosecuted for murder.
I would argue that murder charges and lawsuits should also be directed at entities that thwarted sensible forest management. For example, one Obama appointee ignored the warnings of a number of different business organizations that green justice policies would lead to such devastating fires:
In 2015, Washington D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, an Obama appointee, rejected claims from a coalition of timber, livestock, and off-highway vehicle organizations that the Obama sustainability provisions in the 2012 Planning Rule would cause an economically harmful reduction in timber harvest and land use and an increase in forest fires. “Defendants Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center and Oregon Wild, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, as well as The Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife, represented by Earthjustice, argued that existing federal law provided ample authority for the Forest Service to promulgate the Planning Rule provisions, which place emphasis on ecologically sustainable forest management,” Earthjustice reported.
In terms of bankruptcy, the utility company intends to file for Chapter 11 at the end of January.
Pacific Gas and Electric said it plans to file petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on or about January 29, 2019.
The company was acting under a new state law requiring it to tell employees at least 15 days before a change of control in the company – including a bankruptcy filing.
The move will allow PG&E. to hold off creditors and continue operating while it tries to put its finances in order. The company said it does not expect the filing to affect the delivery of electricity or natural gas to its 16 million customers in Northern and central California.
Given the antics of our politicians, one could argue California has become the new Rome, minus the togas and the gladiators.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.