Dec 14, 2019 - Energy & Environment

California governor blocks PG&E bankruptcy plan

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a press conference at the Petaluma Fairgrounds in Petaluma, Calif.

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom notified Pacific Gas and Electric that he rejected the utility's bankruptcy plan on Friday, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Newsom said PG&E falls "woefully short," lacking critical accounting and safety measures, corporate governance and capital structure requirements in the state's new wildfire liability law. The governor's rejection is a blow for PG&E, as the company hopes to emerge from bankruptcy in the coming months and begin compensating wildfire victims, the Post notes.

  • Last week, PG&E announced it had struck a $13.5 billion settlement to cover claims resulting from destructive California wildfires.

What he's saying: In a letter to PG&E, Newsom wrote, "The state remains focused on meeting the needs of Californians including fair treatment of victims, not on which Wall Street financial interests fund an exit from bankruptcy," per the Post.

The other side: PG&E defended its proposal, telling the Sacramento Bee on Friday that it was "the best course forward for all stakeholders."

What's next: The company must now revise its plan heavily in order to get Newsom's stamp of approval, per the Post.

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