In this article about the bond proposal idea: Worth noting- PG&E has liability coverage of around $840M and the NorCal fire damages report $15B and PG&E has already announced it would take a hit of $2.5B against earnings. Also, Cal Fire has found evidence that PG&E may have broken state safety laws. State investigators have found PG&E to blame for 16 of the fires and over 200 lawsuits have been filed to claim for the 8,880 buildings destroyed and 45 people killed.
PG&E’s bailout of a lifetime is with the passing of this legislation called AB33 where bonds are issued by the state and paid for by ALL utility customers (even those who have solar) in the form of non-bypassable charges as opposed to traditional rate hiking practices. The proceeds from the bonds can be used to pay off all the liability except fines imposed by the gov.
AB33 has yet to be passed and faces a lot of backlash but PG&E has a lot of pull in office. Some may think they are “too big to fail”
Also worth noting- Under a doctrine known as “inverse condemnation”, California utilities can be held liable for economic damages from wildfires sparked by their equipment, even if they followed all of the state’s safety rules.
Author: Scott Wallace.