The utilities debacle

Pacific Gas and Electric Company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Jan. 29, 2019 in the aftermath of the 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons, the two most destructive in state history.

The utility, which provides natural gas and electricity to 16 million people in northern and central California, cited up to $30 billion in liabilities since many blazes have been linked to its equipment.

But even before PG&E’s bankruptcy, there was debate about who bears the costs as wildfires become more frequent and destructive.