PG&E to File for Bankruptcy Amid Mounting Liabilities from CA Wildfires

(INSET: PG&E CEO Geisha Williams) TOPSHOT - Kimberly Spainhower hugs her husband Ryan Spainhower while their daughter Chloe Spainhower, 13, looks on at the burned remains of their home in Paradise, California on November 18, 2018. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

PG&E Corp. announced Monday that it will begin filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of January amid mounting liabilities from the past few years’ deadly California wildfires.

PG&E Corp. stated that it aimed to file to reorganize under chapter 11 on or around January 29. “PG&E expects that the Chapter 11 process will, among other things, support the orderly, fair and expeditious resolution of its potential liabilities resulting from the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires, and will assure the company has access to the capital and resources it needs to continue to provide safe service to customers,” California’s largest utility company said in a statement.

PG&E said they do not expect the move to effect electric or natural gas service for its customers as a result of the proceedings.

The utility company’s stock prices plunged 55 percent in early trading.

PG&E is the subject of enormous litigation and liabilities estimated which could reach as high as $30 billion, analysts who studied the 2018 California wildfires say.

PG&E CEO Geisha Williams (pictured, inset) resigned from the company Sunday night and will be replaced by executive vice president and general counsel John Simon on an interim CEO as the board of directors searches for a replacement. “While we are making progress as a company in safety and other areas, the board recognizes the tremendous challenges PG&E continues to face,” PG&E Chairman Richard Kelly said Sunday. “Our search is focused on extensive operational and safety expertise, and the Board is committed to further change at PG&E.”

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