Friday, March 20, 2020, San Francisco –PG&E filed objections yesterday to a CPUC decision penalizing the company $2.1 B for its role in the 2017 and 2018 wildfires that devastated northern California. The penalties, which include $500 million in refunds to customers, are meant to act as a deterrent to PG&E”s ongoing negligence and mismanagement, which continues to put customers at enormous risk.
PG&E had hoped to settle the case for far less, $1 billion, the exact same amount it is set to spend on its bankruptcy, likely to be the most expensive in US history. PG&E is also demanding huge bonuses for executives in that bankruptcy case. But yesterday, in a 56 page filing at the CPUC, PG&E whined that it couldn’t possibly afford these penalties, hence the Commission should not impose them, regardless of the death and destruction it had caused.
“While its role in causing deadly fires is well known, PG&E will say and do just about anything to avoid accountability for its mismanagement and incompetence,” said TURN executive director Mark Toney. “Nor does it hold its executives accountable.”
On the same day PG&E objected to paying these reasonable penalties, the CEO who headed the company during the fires and left with a golden parachute, Geisha Williams, listed her mansion in Marin for sale for $4.7 M. “Consumers keep getting the message that executives, lawyers and shareholders are entitled to live high on the hog regardless of how badly they perform,” said Toney. “TURN supports the CPUC Presiding Officer decision as reasonable and appropriate.”