PG&E Files Amended Bankruptcy Plan After Talks With Newsom

A Pacific Gas & Electric lineman works to repair a power line in fire-ravaged Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(CN) — A month after California Governor Gavin Newsom rejected its first reorganization plan, utility giant Pacific Gas & Energy submitted a new proposal late Friday to bring itself out of bankruptcy by overhauling its operations and focusing more on wildfire safety.

The revised plan, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the California Public Utilities Commission, comes after weeks of talks with Newsom’s office. Newsom has intensified talk of the possibility of a state takeover of the utility after PG&E admitted to a federal judge last month that it did not meet the safety targets required of it for its criminal probation.

The proposal now includes regionalization of company operations, changes to the boards of directors, appointment of an independent safety monitor and establishing new executive roles focused on risk and safety.

“Under our Plan, the company will emerge from Chapter 11 as a reimagined utility with an enhanced safety structure, improved operations, and a board and management team focused on providing the safe, reliable, and clean energy our customers expect and deserve,” said CEO Bill Johnson in a statement.

The utility must have court approval for a bankruptcy plan by June 30 in order to gain access to a $21 billion wildfire insurance fund that will reimburse utilities for payments made to victims of wildfires.

The governor’s office did not offer a comment Friday night. In a statement, PG&E said it “appreciates the Governor’s input and is open to further discussions with the Governor’s Office and other stakeholders.”

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