“PG&E’s Plan to Resolve Bankruptcy Wins Court Approval”

“A federal judge decided Saturday that the California utility can put itself back together in time to take part in a crucial wildfire liability fund.”

“A federal judge on Saturday approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to exit bankruptcy, a crucial step in efforts to overhaul a utility whose equipment was involved in some of the worst wildfires to ravage California in recent years.

The approval will allow PG&E to take part in a $20 billion state fund to help cover liabilities from future wildfires started by the company’s transmission lines and other equipment.

But even with that financial shield, reorganized finances and new management, PG&E will face daunting challenges. The company’s operations stretch across a 70,000-square-mile service area that appears increasingly vulnerable to wildfires because of climate change. And it is not clear whether the company, which has been repeatedly cited for negligence, is up to the enormous task of making its transmission system safer.”

Ivan Penn and Peter Eavis report for the New York Times June 20, 2020.