Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

San Francisco explores buying PG&E's local distribution assets

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission hired Jefferies to explore a bid for the local distribution assets of PG&E (NYSE: PGC).

Why it matters: San Francisco would be betting that a long and costly process would ultimately pay off in the form of more stable and transparent rates for customers, modeling itself after a government-run utility scheme currently employed in Los Angeles.

Cal Fire determines PG&E equipment caused California's deadliest fire

The town of Paradise following California's deadliest fire
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electrical's equipment was responsible for causing California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire that killed 85 people and burned 150,000 acres in 2018, investigators said on Wednesday.

The big picture: PG&E — California's biggest utility company — filed for bankruptcy earlier this year in anticipation of facing hefty fines following its equipment being blamed for sparking the Camp Fire. California politicians and utility companies are battling to figure out whether utilities should be allowed to pass along liabilities from fire-related damage claims to taxpayers as wildfires become more frequent and deadly in California. State fire officials have sent the investigation to the Butte County district attorney who will have the authority to pursue a criminal case, per the Modesto Bee.

Go deeper: California utility stock collapses amid wildfire liability concerns