PG&E files for 2nd bankruptcy, ignoring investor pleas

It is the second time the utility has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in less than two decades — unusual for any company, but particularly for a highly-regulated public utility.

PG&E officials say they have lined up $5.5 billion in debtor-in-possession financing, to keep operations running while the bankruptcy proceeds. The utility has warned the proceeding could take two years, or potentially longer. But the company also says it expects to make significant changes in the process.

“To be clear, we have heard the calls for change and we are determined to take action throughout this process to build the energy system our customers want and deserve,” John Simon, interim CEO of PG&E Corp., which owns the utility, said in a statement.

PG&E could be facing up to $30 billion in liability related to the devastating 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons, but investors were clearly not on board with the utility’s decision. The company signaled it was planning to file for bankruptcy protection in a Jan. 21 8-K filing, prompting several investor groups to plead with the utility to change course.

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