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How Will PG&E Bankruptcy Affect Service And Rates?

SAN FRANCISCO – As Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) faces billions of dollars in claims over the California wildfires of 2017 and 2018, the company has announced that they intend to file for bankruptcy.

In a statement released today, PG&E says they will file petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on or about Jan. 29.

Chapter 11 allows corporations the time needed to restructure their debts while suspending collections, foreclosures, judgments and the repossession of property by creditors.

PG&E expects that the Chapter 11 process will, among other things, “support the orderly, fair and expeditious resolution of its potential liabilities resulting from the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires, and will assure the Company has access to the capital and resources it needs to continue to provide safe service to customers.”

The company says it does not expect any impact to electric or natural gas service for its customers and that “PG&E remains committed to assisting the communities affected by wildfires in Northern California, and its restoration and rebuilding efforts will continue. The Company also expects that its employees will continue to receive their pay and healthcare benefits as usual.”

As for what may happen with rates for gas and electricity, PG&E spokesperson Lynsey Paulo says that the upcoming bankruptcy is “a long process that we’re just announcing today and I can’t speculate on what changes, if any, could result.

“It will allow us to work with our regulators, policymakers and other key stakeholders to consider a range of alternatives to provide for the safe delivery of natural gas and electric service for the long-term in an environment that continues to be challenged by climate change.”

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