New questions about who will run PG&E after bankruptcy

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — There new questions about just who will be running PG&E once it emerges from bankruptcy. 

A federal judge has granted a two-week period for California officials to develop a way to evaluate competing bids to restructure Pacific Gas & Electric and pull it out of bankruptcy.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration and state regulators requested the time Wednesday to work with PG&E Corp. and two groups of investors who want to take over the troubled utility.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy amid an estimated $30 billion in liabilities from recent wildfires its equipment may have ignited.

A group of insurers and a group of PG&E bondholders are seeking to end the company’s sole right to file a reorganization plan, asserting they have a better proposal.

State officials said they want to see the best plan for California ratepayers and keep PG&E on track to resolve its bankruptcy case by next June.

A federal bankruptcy judge presiding over PG&E’s bankruptcy is still waiting for the utility to submit a restructuring plan, but now the group of insurers who say the utility owes them more than $20 billion wants to submit a plan of their own. 

The Ad Hoc Group of Subrogation Claim Holders SAYS The proposal would hold PG&E accountable for wildfire liability, maintain price stability for PG&E’s ratepayers,contribute billions of dollars to California’s wildfire recovery fund, and preserve jobs  

That proposal would also give them a stake in running the company once PG&E emerges from bankruptcy

“What they propose is we put some cash in the company and what we get back is stock and that would wipe out or minimize the current shareholders and when PG&E emerges from bankruptcy they would be driving the bus,” said attorney Mike Danko. 

Wildfire attorney Danko says a group of bond holders also want to submit a plan and while having various groups compete is good for wildfire victims, ultimately, putting either group in charge of keeping the lights on is not a great idea.

“Whoever ends up running or owning the company is doing it for profit and that’s what got us into this situation in the first place, it doesn’t make sense for a public utility to be privately owned,” he said. 

A federal judge has pushed off any decision for two weeks to allow state officials to come up with a way to evaluate these competing proposals to restructure the company.

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