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PG&E sidesteps California Gov. Newsom by amending $13.5B settlement with wildfire victims

Brittany De Lea

Troubled California utility PG&E announced this week that it amended its settlement with wildfire victims – essentially removing the state’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from the equation.

An amendment to the provision eliminates the need for Newsom to sign off on its overall bankruptcy plan – which he rejected last week – in order to move forward with the agreement to compensate victims of wildfires that were started by the utility’s equipment.

The utility indicated it is still in talks with Newsom’s office regarding its bankruptcy proceedings.

Newsom’s office did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.

PG&E CRATERS AFTER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR REJECTS BANKRUPTCY REORGANIZATION PLAN 

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR REJECTS $13.5 BILLION PG&E SETTLEMENT

Newsom raised fresh concerns about PG&E’s bankruptcy plan late last week. He asked the company to make additional, significant changes at the leadership level. The utility had just reached the $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire victims, which it needed to do in order to exit bankruptcy.

In order to mitigate the risk that its equipment would spark more wildfires, PG&E conducted a series of planned power shutoffs to customers across California, angering residents and Newsom.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January in a bid to relieve itself of billions of dollars in liabilities stemming from lawsuits over deadly fires in the state that its equipment allegedly helped start in both 2017 and 2018.

The state has imposed a deadline of June 2020 for PG&E to exit bankruptcy if it is to be eligible to participate in an insurance pool created for future wildfires.

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