California's Largest Utility Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

PG&E announced that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, facing $30 billion in liability after two years of catastrophic wildfires in the state of California.

2 minute read

January 15, 2019, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Northern California Wilidfires

JEMLEN / Shutterstock

"Citing 'extraordinary challenges' from the devastating 2017 and 2018 California wildfires, PG&E said Monday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection," reports Levi Sumagaysay.

"In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the utility that serves 16 million Californians gave the 15-day notice required by law for filing for bankruptcy" adds Sumagaysay. "The company’s stock dropped by more than half Monday in response to the early-morning announcement."

In a follow up article, Sumagaysay reported that PG&E had placed barricades around its San Francisco headquarters to usher employees to and from the building after the announcement. "The utility would not say whether any executives or employees had received threats, but there were about a dozen guards visible outside the company’s buildings Monday afternoon," according to Sumagaysay.

Another article by Janie Har and Cathy Bussewitz for the Associated Press provides additional details on the bankruptcy proceedings, placing the utility's potential liability from lawsuits connected to the wildfires of 2017 and 2018 at $30 billion.

An article by Mark Chediak and Kiel Porter reports on the resignation of Geisha Williams, the company's chief executive officer. General Counsel John Simon will act as interim CEO.

Another article by Umair Irfan calls the bankruptcy a sign of the effects of climate change: "the fall of a major utility is also a chilling example of how the impacts of climate change can pummel US companies and taxpayers right now. And the risks are only growing."

Additional news coverage on the bankruptcy is available on sites like Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal.

Monday, January 14, 2019 in The Mercury News

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