In response to Pacific Gas and Electric's announcement of plans to declare bankruptcy close to the end of the month, California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday afternoon that his office is working with various state departments and others to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Newsom said he is committed to ensuring that utilities customers will continue to receive power and that that any bankruptcy plan does not exclude the commitment to make whole victims of wildfires in the past two years which allegedly were sparked by PG&E equipment.
Governor Newsom said that PG&E officials in the past have not been "a trusted player" and have admitted to knowingly misled state officials and the public about safety concerns. "That is simply unacceptable," insisted Newsom during the news conference. He claimed he will "trust but verify."
Under a new state law, the utility has to give at least 15 days notice to employees which is why the announcement was made on Monday.
Shares of the utility plummeted on the news. PG&E faces billions of dollars in liability over its role in recent California wildfires. The company is in talks about a five-billion dollar financing package that would allow it to continue operating during bankruptcy proceedings.