PG&E shares plunge on bankruptcy worries

Following the deadly and destructive Camp Fire an aerial view of the Northern California town of Paradise is seen on Nov. 15 2018

Camp Fire: PG&E gets sued by insurance companies

The utility, which provides electricity to about 16 million Californians, is contemplating filing for bankruptcy protection, Reuters reports.

Cal Fire, which is investigating the Camp Fire, has yet to determine the exact cause of the fire.

PG&E could be on the hook for tens of billions of dollars for its potential role in California's devastating Camp Fire previous year - the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history.

The fire broke out on the morning of November 8 near the Northern California mountain community of Paradise, sweeping through the town and killing at least 86 people in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.

The Camp Fire broke out on the morning of November 8 near the mountain community of Paradise, sweeping through the town and killing at least 86 people, in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.

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PG&E's total liability could be upwards of $26.5 billion, according to Hugh Wynne, co-head of Utilities, Power Equipment & Renewable Energy at SSR. The company could be engaged in similar brinkmanship now, he said. Lawmakers declined, but they allowed the company to pass along some of the costs from the 2017 fires to its customers in hopes of sparing it from bankruptcy. Federal prosecutors who secured felony convictions against PG&E after the deadly 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion have said the fires could represent a violation of the terms of probation the utility received in the San Bruno case. "Last year, they were able to fool the legislature with the narrative of bankruptcy or bailout, and the legislature gave them a bailout". Those bonds will help pay for damages tied to deadly California wildfires in October 2017 caused by faulty PG&E equipment. "We argue bankruptcy may be a substantive solution for several of PCG's woes, and should be considered a credible risk by shareholders".

In a statement late Friday, PG&E said it's "working diligently to assess the company's potential liabilities as a result of the wildfires and the options for addressing those liabilities".

Dodd said findings of the regulator showed that the utility and its parent company, PG&E, need "systematic change", including on its board of directors "and in the executive suite", the newspaper had reported. One option under consideration: Selling its natural gas business after a bankruptcy filing, the people familiar with the matter said.

"Breaking it up or the state running the company, those are all incredibly complicated proposals that just have no indication that they would be successful, certainly not anytime soon", he said.

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