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Power lines during a PG&E public safety power shutoff in November 2019 in Santa Rosa, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electric gained a financial shield on Saturday against roughly $30 billion in liabilities over its involvement in deadly wildfires across California, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: PG&E's plan to exit bankruptcy, which is now approved by a federal judge, qualifies the company for a wildfire insurance fund that will help cover future claims from fires caused by its equipment.

  • PG&E pled guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for those California residents killed in the California Camp Fire.

Catch up quick: PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last January after facing the estimated billions of dollars in claims. The company agreed to a $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims last December.

What's next: Judge Dennis Montali's approval of PG&E's bankruptcy exit authorizes $13.5 billion in compensation for roughly 70,000 businesses and homeowners affected by fires sparked by PG&E equipment, per the Times.

  • The company still faces "daunting challenges," per the Times, as PG&E operations "stretch across a 70,000-square-mile service area that appears increasingly vulnerable to wildfires because of climate change. And it is not clear whether the company, which has been repeatedly cited for negligence, is up to the enormous task of making its transmission system safer."

Go deeper: California to open investigation into PG&E for power shutoffs

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 15, 2020 - Science

Wildfires ignite Trump vs. Biden climate battle

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photos: Joshua Roberts and Paul J. Richards/AFP

The devastating West Coast wildfires have, at least for now, put a hot glare on the role of climate change in the 2020 presidential election.

Catch up fast: Joe Biden called President Trump a "climate arsonist" Monday in a speech that argued his dismissal of consensus climate science is a threat to people nationwide.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
27 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.