2. PG&E stock plunges as California fires rage on
Shares of PG&E Corporation, the parent company of utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) which services Northern California, have lost roughly half their value amid concerns that the company could be held liable for the state's deadliest wildfire on record, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.
What's going on: PG&E, whose power lines have been linked to 16 of last year's devastating fires, said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that its insurance would not fully cover the cost of damages, and there would be a "material impact" on the company's financial health if it were found responsible for the Camp Fire.
- That blaze destroyed the town of Paradise in Butte County, about 90 miles north of Sacramento.
- It has killed at least 56 people, with more than 200 still missing.
The details: The cause of the fire has not been determined yet, but PG&E disclosed that it reported an outage on a transmission line in Butte County at 6:15am PT on Nov. 8, 18 minutes before Cal Fire said the blaze began.
- The cost of the Camp Fire damage is projected to reach $15 billion or more, per Citi analyst Praful Mehta.
- The company is already on the hook for $17.3 billion in potential liabilities for last year's wildfires, according to J.P. Morgan.
Read more of the full story.
Further information on the deadly wildfires in California...
California Governor Jerry Brown said on Wednesday that climate change was a major source of the wildfires that have ravaged California over the last week.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is visiting the state, said it's not the time to "point fingers," admitting that rising temperatures was one of several contributing factors, the Associated Press reports.
Why it matters: President Trump has repeatedly pointed to "poor" forest management from the state of California as a cause of the fires, and has threatened to pull federal funding, despite scientific experts citing climate change as a major factor of the fires.
- Meanwhile, Zinke has previously expressed doubts about humans' role in climate change and has questioned whether emissions of greenhouse gases account for the bulk of global warming.
Go deeper: Why it's so hard to issue a fire warning