Facing massive liability, PG&E seeks bankruptcy protection

  • FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2010, file photo, then-Pacific Gas and Electric President Chris Johns, left, and then-vice president of energy delivery Geisha Williams, right, address questions during a news conference in response to a gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif. PG&E said Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, that CEO Williams was stepping down and that John Simon, the company's general counsel, would serve as interim CEO until a replacement is found. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2010, file photo, Geisha Williams, right, then-senior vice president of energy delivery for Pacific Gas & Electric, speaks to hundreds of displaced San Bruno residents that jammed a town hall meeting at St. Roberts Catholic Church in San Bruno, Calif. PG&E said Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, that CEO Williams was stepping down and that John Simon, the company's general counsel, would serve as interim CEO until a replacement is found. (AP photo/Tony Avelar, File) Tony Avelar

Associated Press
Published: 1/14/2019 12:58:41 PM

Pacific Gas and Electric said it plans to file for bankruptcy protection amid potentially massive liabilities resulting from the deadly California wildfires.

The announcement Monday follows the resignation of the power company’s chief executive Geisha Williams a day earlier. John Simon, the company’s general counsel since 2017, will serve as interim chief executive.

Officials are investigating whether the utility’s equipment sparked a wildfire in Northern California in November that killed at least 86 people and destroyed 15,000 homes. Damages from that fire have been estimated in the billions. In addition, state investigators blamed PG&E power lines for some fires in October 2017.

Chapter 11 reorganization represents “the only viable option to address the company’s responsibilities to its stakeholders,” said Richard Kelly, chairman of the board of directors of PG&E, in a statement.

“The Chapter 11 process allows us to work with these many constituents in one court-supervised forum to comprehensively address our potential liabilities and to implement appropriate changes,” Kelly added.




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