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US Gov. Newsom hints at government control of PG&E if bankruptcy effort fizzles

02:26  02 november  2019
02:26  02 november  2019 Source:   latimes.com

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SACRAMENTO — California Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement after the Pacific Gas and Electric Company ( PG & E ) announced From the moment I was elected, I have been closely monitoring the impact of PG & E ’s existing and potential future liability for the deadly wildfires on the

SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement after the Pacific Gas and Electric Company ( PG & E ) filed for reorganization in federal bankruptcy court: “ PG & E today filed for reorganization in federal bankruptcy court. That was PG & E ’s choice but it does not change my focus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom demanded Friday that Pacific Gas & Electric shareholders and executives, as well as wildfire victims, bondholders and other parties involved in the company’s bankruptcy, convene in Sacramento next week to work out a deal — and threatened to craft a government-led plan to restructure the state’s largest utility if an agreement isn’t reached quickly.

a man wearing a suit and tie: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks with reporters in Healdsburg, Calif., after surveying Kincade fire devastation in Sonoma County on October 25, 2019.© Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks with reporters in Healdsburg, Calif., after surveying Kincade fire devastation in Sonoma County on October 25, 2019.

“It is my hope that the stakeholders in PG&E will put parochial interests aside and reach a negotiated resolution so that we can create this new company and forever put the old PG&E behind us,” Newsom said. “If the parties fail to reach an agreement quickly to begin this process of transformation, the state will not hesitate to step in and restructure the utility.”

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California Gov . Gavin Newsom wants to speed up the troubled Pacific Gas & Electric bankruptcy case so PG & E filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after a 2018 wildfire mostly destroyed the town of Shareholders and creditors are battling for control of the company and have put forth competing

For Gov . Gavin Newsom , who took office last week, the bankruptcy disrupts an agenda that until now had focused on early childhood education, paid parental leave and the expansion of the state’s health care program to cover more undocumented residents. Mr. Newsom said Monday that he had been “in

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January, citing some $30 billion in liability costs from wildfires linked to its equipment. In a series of twists and turns in the case, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali agreed last month to consider a competing plan to resolve the liabilities from the utility’s bondholders, raising the possibility that existing PG&E shareholders could be wiped out at the conclusion of the case.

The California Legislature approved a law over the summer that requires PG&E to exit bankruptcy by June 30, 2020, in order to access a multibillion-dollar fund established to help the utilities pay wildfire costs. Newsom has instructed his staff to develop “a blueprint for what a 21st-century utility should look like,” in accordance with the law, that serves as a model for the company that will emerge from bankruptcy.

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Pacific Gas & Electric , the California utility that faces billions of dollars in wildfire damages, hopes to use its bankruptcy to reduce its liabilities and emerge a more stable Gavin Newsom criticized PG & E while signaling that his administration was considering broader changes to the state’s energy system.

California’s Pacific Gas & Electric problem isn’t going away. The giant utility has been in bankruptcy for months, and it is not clear who will end up controlling it. This uncertainty has extended into the wildfire season, exposing not just the shortcomings in PG & E ’s fire-prevention efforts but also the

If the parties in the bankruptcy case fail to reach a hasty agreement that addresses California’s safety concerns and its blueprint, an adviser to Newsom said the state is preparing to submit a motion to the court requesting to introduce its own reorganization plan. In a news conference Friday, Newsom declined to offer a timeline for the negotiations to conclude before the state would introduce its own proposal.

“PG&E, as we know it, may or may not be able to figure this out,” Newsom said. “If they cannot, we are not going to sit around and be passive. The final point I want to make is, we are gaming out a backup plan. If Pacific Gas & Electric is unable to secure its own fate and future and work through the process of getting people together and working to address the needs of debt and equity bondholders and lawyers and victims and subrogation claims, then the state will prepare itself as backup for a scenario where we do that job for them.”

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Pacific Gas & Electric ( PG & E ) is in the midst of the second bankruptcy proceeding for an electric utility in the United States. PG & E fights for control of its future, access to new wildfire fund. Democrat Gavin Newsom is reportedly having long conversations with PG & E executives as the utility

LOS ANGELES — Pacific Gas and Electric promises that its customers’ lights will stay on if it follows through on plans to file for bankruptcy this month. But companies that supply the California utility’s electricity may have more to worry about.

Newsom said the state is beginning to scope out its alternative restructuring proposal and declined to say whether a plan submitted to the court would give the state control over the utility.

The governor tapped his Cabinet secretary, Ana Matosantos, to take the lead on the state’s efforts. Matosantos served as a budget director to both former Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, winning praise for overseeing efforts by both governors to dig the state out of its deep fiscal crisis in the wake of the Great Recession.

Prior to joining Newsom’s administration, she worked on the federal commission created by former President Barack Obama to monitor the fiscal crisis of Puerto Rico. As the governor’s Cabinet secretary, she has had a hand in almost every one of Newsom’s policy efforts during his first year in office, an adviser with perhaps the most experience in how Sacramento works.

Newsom’s announcement Friday comes after he hammered PG&E during a tour of areas of the state impacted by wildfires and power shutoffs. The governor has repeatedly criticized the company for failing to invest in safety upgrades and for applying the intentional power outages too broadly.

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©2019 Los Angeles Times

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