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A search and rescue team inspects an area taped for possible human remains as they comb through Paradise Gardens, which was destroyed by the Camp Fire in 2018 in Paradise, California. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California utility PG&E admitted to criminal negligence on Tuesday, pleading guilty to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter for its role in starting the 2018 Camp Fire.

The big picture: The plea "reflects the bankrupt utility taking responsibility for the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history," Bloomberg Law writes. The fire, ignited by PG&E equipment, killed 84 people. The company is also pleading guilty to a count of unlawfully causing a fire.

Background: PG&E already agreed to pay more than $25 billion to settle claims from victims, insurers and local governments, per Bloomberg, and was fined $1.9 billion by the California Public Utilities Commission.

What to watch: People who lost family and property in the fire are expected to testify to the county beginning Wednesday. The judge will then impose a sentence on the utility.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 9, 2020 - Science

Helicopters rescue dozens from California's historic wildfires

The Creek Fire jumps State Route 168 in Fresno County, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Pilots wearing night-vision goggles landed helicopters in California's burning Sierra National Forest to save 164 people trapped by flames and were working to rescue 17 others, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said during a news conference Tuesday.

What's happening: Firefighters are battling more than two dozen major blazes, as PG&E cut power to 170,000 customers in a safety shutdown.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 mins ago - Economy & Business

IPOs keep rolling despite stock market volatility

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Stock market volatility is supposed to be kryptonite for IPOs, causing issuers to hide out in their private market caves.

Yes, but: This is 2020, when nothing matters.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
42 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.