PG&E says it has reached $13.5 billion wildfire settlement

08 Décembre, 2019, 17:54 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • PG&E cut power to over 450,000 residents throughout Northern California saying the conditions could spark even more deadly fires

The settlement would allow PG&E to come out of bankruptcy protection before a government deadline set for next June, the company said in a statement. Payments will be available for families who lost property and whose relatives died in the 2018 Camp Fire, the 2017 Northern California Wildfires, the 2017 Tubbs Fire, and the 2015 Butte Fire.

Utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric announced a $13.5 billion settlement agreement to resolve all claims associated with several Northern California wildfires that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of businesses and homes.

The settlement will require approval by a bankruptcy court before it can proceed.

"With this important milestone now accomplished, we are focused on emerging from Chapter 11 as the utility of the future that our customers and communities expect and deserve", Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson said in a statement. PG&E's leadership team has heard those calls for change, and we realize we need to do even more to be a different company now and in the future. "We recognize we need to deliver safe and reliable energy service every single day-we're determined to do just that". PG&E Corporation and the Utility also routinely post, or provide direct links to, presentations, documents, and other information that may be of interest to investors at, under the "Chapter 11", "Wildfire Updates" and "News & Events: Events & Presentations" tabs, respectively, in order to publicly disseminate such information.

State fire investigators have tied PG&E transmission lines to the Camp Fire in California in 2018, which killed 85 people in the vicinity of the town of Paradise.

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An aging tower where a worn hook broke and helped ignite the fire had not been subjected to a climbing inspection since at least 2001, the report said.

In most cases the 2017 and 2018 fires were blamed on power lines, and two attorneys representing more than 5,000 Northern California fire victims hailed the settlement.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy this year and has already settled with insurers and local authorities.

"We remain deeply sorry about the role our equipment had in this tragedy, and we apologise to all those impacted by the devastating Camp Fire". Lawsuits there claimed PG&E did not monitor or inspect and fix electrical equipment that provided the warehouse with power.

In addition, PG&E is among the utilities looking into technology-based solutions to the pressing problem of wildfires, which have become increasingly destructive for a number of reasons that include climate change, a major contributor to vegetation drying and becoming more combustible.



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