Given the epic failure of the Democratic Party’s caucus app, you might think that it would lead to some reflection about how much managing its members should actually be attempting to handle.

However, one California lawmaker is proposing a takeover of a troubled electric company.

A California state senator announced a plan on Monday to convert the troubled Pacific Gas and Electric Co. into a public utility, adding pressure to the bankrupt company to quickly remedy its financial woes or face legislative retribution.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said the legislation would create a “safer, more reliable and affordable energy” service for Californians. The measure arrives ahead of a June 30 deadline for PG&E to exit bankruptcy, and after mass power shutoffs prompted statewide uproar during last year’s wildfire season.

“This legislation is long overdue,” Wiener said. “It will put and end to the dangerous roller coaster ride that we have been on with PG&E for the last decade.”

California Governor Newsom has threatened if PG&E didn’t work to get itself out of bankruptcy, that the state might take over the entire company as early as June.

Exactly one year after PG&E Corp. filed for bankruptcy, Gov. Gavin Newsom said PG&E “no longer exists” and doubled down on a state takeover if the utility doesn’t shape up by June 30.

“There’s going to be a new company or the state of California will take it over,” Newsom said at an event with the Public Policy Institute of California in Sacramento about the future of the state’s energy Wednesday.

“Because if PG&E can’t do it, we’ll do it for them. Period, full stop. We’re sick of excuses and delays,” he said.

But the state cannot just take over the private utility without federal bankruptcy court approval. The plan may not work out as Newson hopes given President Donald Trump’s disdain for how California’s politicians handle its infrastructure. It also doesn’t help that PG&E Corp. won court approval of a settlement with bondholders and is on track to exit bankruptcy by the end of June, in time to qualify for a statewide fund designed to cushion utilities against the rising risk of wildfires.

One of the chief reasons that the electric company is having fiscals problems is related to the demands of California’s green energy regulatory requirements. As California Globe editor Katy Grimes notes, resolving the bankruptcy favorably may mean PG&E is freed from the state stranglehold.

The real goal of the PG&E takeover appears to be to control the state’s mandated renewable energy goals so PG&E’s bankruptcy does not sell off or shut down the utility’s renewables division. While PG&E is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the court has to examine where the financial drains to the company come from (renewables division) and where the profits are. The Bankruptcy court is the one place PG&E could divest itself of the state’s renewables mandates… and California’s Democrats can’t have that.

This news does not hearten California’s taxpayers and energy users.

 

 
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