Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Nearly two dozen California mayors and county leaders — including San Jose and Sacramento — are pressing state regulators to help them transform the embattled, bankrupt power giant PG&E into a customer-owned cooperative.

Why it matters: Their new letter to the California Public Utilities Commission shows how PG&E's power shutdowns amid wildfire risk and overall performance are prompting calls for a seismic re-think of its structure.

  • The CPUC has a key oversight role in the company's bankruptcy reorganization and recently launched a probe of power shut-offs that have affected millions.

What they're saying: The local officials argue that a cooperative structure would help provide tens of billions of dollars needed for "system hardening, wildfire protection and cyber-security."

  • "A mutualized PG&E can raise capital from a broad pool of debt financing in amounts substantially greater than can an investor-owned PG&E, and at much lower cost," it states.
  • PG&E opposes the plan, per the Wall Street Journal, which reported yesterday on the city and county proposal.

Where it stands: California Gov. Gavin Newsom met yesterday with PG&E's CEO Bill Johnson and "reiterated the state’s frustration with PG&E and strongly urged the parties get to a resolution that ensures what we saw over the last month never happens again and results in a transformed utility," his office said.In recent days Newsom has threatened a state takeover of the company.

The big picture: "Some of Wall Street's biggest names are jostling for control of the utility, including a group of bondholders led by billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp.," Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper ... California wildfires: What you need to know

Go deeper

Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

President Trump repeatedly refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden, saying at a press briefing: "We're going to have to see what happens."

The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed on a number of occasions that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud. Earlier on Wednesday, the president said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the election.

"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury has indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

The state of play: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. no longer recognizes Lukashenko as legitimate president of Belarus

Lukashenko at his secret inauguration. Photo: Andrei Stasevich/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. no longer recognizes Aleksandr Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus, the State Department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has clung to power with the support of Russia amid seven weeks of protests that have followed a blatantly rigged election. Fresh protests broke out Wednesday evening in Minsk after it emerged that Lukashenko had held a secret inauguration ceremony.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!