(Bloomberg) -- California has formed a “strike team” in the wake of PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy that will come up with a comprehensive strategy within 60 days, Governor Gavin Newsom told legislators Tuesday.
The Golden State has hired bankruptcy attorneys and financial advisers to help develop the plan and ensure that wildfire victims get justice and ratepayers and employees are protected, he said during his state of the state address in Sacramento.
“We are all frustrated and we’re angry that it’s come to this,” Newsom said. “PG&E didn’t do enough to secure dangerous equipment or plan for the future. My administration will work to make sure PG&E upholds its obligations.”
PG&E, the state’s biggest utility, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, saying it faced an estimated $30 billion or more in liabilities from wildfires in 2017 and 2018. The state’s other investor owned utilities -- Edison International’s Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric -- have been downgraded amid concerns about their exposure to potential fire claims.
Newsom noted that “the problems we face are far greater than PG&E” and cited both a changing climate and the Edison and SDG&E downgrades.
“We must map out a longer-term framework not just for the utilities’ future, but for California’s energy future, to ensure that the cost of climate change doesn’t fall on those least able to afford it,” he said.
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