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Leaders Representing Over 9.5 Million Californians Urge the CPUC to Pursue Another Path for PG&E’s Bankruptcy

Coalition writes that current reorganization plan would lead to PG&E becoming a junk bond company, devaluing payout to victims

Post Date:05/12/2020 8:00 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 May 12, 2020

Media Contact:

Rachel Davis, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, (408) 712-9149, rachel.davis@sanjoseca.gov 

San José, CA – Today, the steering committee, representing a coalition of 204 elected leaders led by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo--who represent many of the largest California cities and counties served by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)--sent a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) asking them to reconsider the current Proposed Decision (PD) on PG&E’s bankruptcy plan based on the company’s financial viability.

In their letter, the group writes “the PD glosses over a critical issue that you cannot ignore: ensuring that the company will emerge from bankruptcy financially sound, and capable of raising tens of billions of dollars for the vitally needed maintenance and system improvements required for the grid’s safety and reliability.” 

Mayor Sam Liccardo reinforced the position by saying “The reorganization plan that PG&E has put forward will leave the company financially unstable and its customers responsible for crushing debt. We strongly urge the CPUC to consider the financial ramifications of this plan and put the well-being of millions of California’s before those of PG&E’s investors.”

The steering committee also argues that the Proposed Decision makes no finding of fact demonstrating any confidence that PG&E will be able to attract the capital required to make on-going improvements in its system. 

“Put simply, the PD would have PG&E Corporation emerge from bankruptcy as a junk bond company.  This is unacceptable for the sixteen million Californians already imperiled by the company’s serious lack of safety, financial stability, and reliability. They cannot place their homes, their livelihoods, and their futures on the prospects of a company that issues junk bond debt. If the Commission were to approve, it would confer on PG&E the dubious distinction of being the only publicly-traded utility holding company in the nation that is not credit-worthy.”

They write in support for the comments filed by the City of San Jose, which is a formal party in the proceeding, raising concerns regarding recommendation of the proposed decision for approval of the PG&E reorganization plan. 

Last year, after a tragic fire season, the coalition sent a letter urging the CPUC to explore restructuring the investor-owned utility into one owned by California customers . The commission is expected to vote on PG&E's bankruptcy plan on May 21. The utility must exit bankruptcy by June 30 in order to access California's wildfire insurance fund, created by the state legislature last year.  

 

The signatories of the letter are: 

  • Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose
  • Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland
  • Mayor Michael Tubbs, City of Stockton
  • Mayor Jan Pepper, City of Los Altos
  • Mayor Susan Seaman, City of Eureka
  • Supervisor Scott Haggerty, Alameda County Board of Supervisors
  • Supervisor Dave Pine, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
  • Supervisor Das Williams, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
  • Supervisor Ryan Coonerty, Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors
  • Supervisor Debra Lucero, Butte County Board of Supervisors
  • Supervisor Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

The full letter can be found at bit.ly/CPUCLetter.

 

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About the City of San José

With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

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