Dec 14, 2019

California governor blocks PG&E bankruptcy plan

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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PG&E settles with California regulators as fire victims deal approved

Fire burns near power lines in Montecito, California, Dec. 16, 2017. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) reached a proposed $1.7 billion settlement with state regulators and had a revised $13.5 billion agreement for people impacted by California's fatal 2017 and 2018 wildfires approved Tuesday, AP reports.

Why it matters: The steps mark significant progress for the utility as it seeks to emerge from bankruptcy in the coming months, after Gov. Gavin Newsom rejected its financial rehabilitation plan Friday for falling "woefully short."

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019

PG&E electricity shut-offs drive Californians' interest in solar power

Photo: Andrew Aitchison/InPictures via Getty Images

The solar industry came out with new data yesterday showing record residential installations in the third quarter, edging out prior highs in 2016.

The intrigue: One part of the quarterly report that caught my eye confirms that PG&E's power shut-offs are driving interest in solar-plus-battery systems, though the real effect won't be known for a while.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

HUD: Homelessness rises in U.S., driven by California housing crisis

Tents for the homeless line a sidewalk in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Homelessness in the U.S. has risen for a third consecutive year, driven by a spike in California, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a new report.

Homelessness increased in California by 21,306 people, or 16.4 percent, accounting for more than the entire national increase."
— HUD statement
Go deeperArrowDec 22, 2019