PG&E says bankruptcy will not impact electric or natural gas service

Pacific Gas & Electric says its Chapter 11 reorganization — planned to occur on or about Jan. 29 — is not expected to have any impact to electric or natural gas service for its customers.

The utility cites the “devastating and unprecedented Northern California wildfires of 2017 and 2018” and their “profound impact on our customers and their communities.” The company acknowledged it “faces extensive litigation and significant potential liabilities” as a result of these wildfires. Needing a solution to enable the continued safe delivery of service to customers and resolve its potential liabilities, PG&E chose Chapter 11 reorganization.

Chapter 11 is a form of bankruptcy that involves a reorganization of a debtor’s business affairs, debts and assets, according to Investopedia. Corporations generally file Chapter 11 if they require time to restructure their debts. This version of bankruptcy gives the debtor a fresh start, but the terms are subject to the debtor’s fulfillment of his obligations under the plan of reorganization.

The company says it is not going out of business, and in fact Investopedia says in most cases, during a Chapter 11 proceeding, the firm remains open and operating.

“PG&E has been part of the California landscape for more than 100 years, and we care deeply about the communities that we serve and where our employees live and work,” the company said on a web page dedicated to keeping customers, vendors/suppliers and retirees informed about the reorganization.

We previously reported that Geisha Williams stepped down as chief executive officer of PG&E, and John Simon is serving as interim CEO.

PG&E was incorporated in 1905 and provides electric and natural gas service to about 16 million people in northern and central California. The company’s hydroelectric system is built along 16 river basins and uses water from more than 100 reservoirs. Electricity is produced at 68 powerhouses with a total generating capacity of 3,900 MW.

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