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PG&E to pay $1 billion to resolve wildfire claims held by 18 public entities

Tomi Kilgore

Shares of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. rose 1.6% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the bankrupt utility said it reached agreements to pay $1 billion to resolve claims related to the 2015, 2017 and 2018 wild fires. The claims are held by 18 local public entities, including cities, counties, districts and public agencies, hurt by the Butte Fire in 2015, the Northern California fires in 2017 and last year's Camp Fire. The payment of the claims is subject to confirmation by the bankruptcy court. "This is an important first step toward an orderly, fair and expeditious resolution of wildfire claims and a demonstration of our willingness to work collaboratively with stakeholders to achieve mutual acceptable resolutions," said PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson. The stock has lost 19.4% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF has gained 14.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 13.5%.