California Public Utilities Commission
On Sept. 26, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) opened a formal proceeding to consider the ratemaking and other implications of a proposed plan of reorganization for resolution of the voluntary case filed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco. PG&E filed its Chapter 11 case in January 2019. As the primary state regulator of PG&E, before the Chapter 11 case can be resolved, the CPUC must review and approve any proposed plan and related transactions and find that they comply with California law.
The order adopted on Sept. 26 establishes a preliminary schedule and scope of issues for the CPUC’s consideration of whether to approve a Plan of Reorganization and related agreements and make other statutory findings necessary for PG&E’s participation in the Wildfire Fund created pursuant to AB 1054 (Public utilities: wildfires and employee protection). The preliminary scope of issues include, among many issues, whether the settlement provides satisfactory resolution of monetary fines or penalties for PG&E’s pre-bankruptcy conduct, whether to approve changes to PG&E’s governance structure, whether the plan is consistent with the state’s climate goals, and whether the plan is rate neutral on average.
“As we move through this reorganization, we must have a public process that informs and that allows us to consider the public’s input, as we, along with the bankruptcy court, work towards confirming a safe, sustainable, affordable plan of reorganization,” said Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves.
“Our actions today provide a critical venue for the CPUC to work with stakeholders in analyzing and appropriately responding to the PG&E plan for reorganization,” said Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma.
The initiation of this proceeding is not an indication that the CPUC approves or disapproves of any proposed Plan of Reorganization that has been proposed or suggested to date. The CPUC is an active participant in PG&E’s Chapter 11 case and will continue to represent the interests of California in the bankruptcy court. The CPUC’s focus remains on ensuring that wildfire victims are compensated, and Northern California receives safe and reliable service at reasonable rates consistent with achieving California’s climate goals.
The order voted on is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M313/K942/313942079.PDF.
The CPUC regulates services and utilities, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.