PG&E Files for Bankruptcy Protection
"Through this process, we will prioritize what matters most to our customers and the communities we serve – safety and reliability. We believe that this process will make sure that we have sufficient liquidity to serve our customers and support our operations and obligations," said PG&E Corporation Interim CEO John R. Simon.
As expected, PG&E Corporation and its primary operating subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, filed voluntary petitions Jan. 29 under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. The company could face billions of dollars in potential liability for 2018 wildfires in northern California, if plaintiffs can prove its equipment caused them.
The corporation's news release said PG&E remains committed to "delivering safe and reliable electric and natural gas service to customers; continuing to make critical investments in system safety and maintenance; supporting the orderly, fair and expeditious resolution of its liabilities resulting from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires; working with customers, civic leaders, regulators, policymakers, the financial community and other key stakeholders to consider alternatives to provide for the safe delivery of natural gas and electricity and new safety solutions in an environment challenged by climate change; and assisting our customers and communities impacted by wildfires in Northern California. PG&E's restoration and rebuilding efforts will continue."
"Our most important responsibility is and must be safety, and that remains our focus. Throughout this process, we are fully committed to enhancing our wildfire safety efforts, as well as helping restoration and rebuilding efforts across the communities impacted by the devastating Northern California wildfires. We also intend to work together with our customers, employees and other stakeholders to create a more sustainable foundation for the delivery of safe, reliable and affordable service in the years ahead. 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," said John R. Simon, PG&E Corporation's interim CEO.
PG&E reported it also filed a motion seeking interim and final approval of the court to enter into an agreement for $5.5 billion in debtor-in-possession financing with J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Barclays, Citi, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, MUFG Union Bank, and Wells Fargo acting as joint lead arrangers, and the corporation expects the court to act on an interim basis on that motion in the coming days. When approved, the financing will provide PG&E with necessary capital to ensure essential maintenance and continued investments in safety and reliability for the expected duration of the Chapter 11 cases.
"Through this process, we will prioritize what matters most to our customers and the communities we serve – safety and reliability. We believe that this process will make sure that we have sufficient liquidity to serve our customers and support our operations and obligations," Simon said. "I know that our 24,000 dedicated employees remain steadfastly focused on delivering safe and reliable natural gas and electric service for the 16 million people across our service area. Each day I see the hard work and resilience of our team, and I thank them for their continued dedication to working safely and delivering for our customers."