After the devastating fire that hit California earlier in January this year, PG&E filed bankruptcy protection to prevent liabilities linked to the fire. Two months later, the power utility provider got approved of the $5.5B loan, which claims to help them maintain electricity and natural gas delivery.
The decision of Judge Dennis Montali of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco gained a lot of tractions particularly from the victims of the wildfire. The committee representing the victims wanted PG&E to finance housing, food and other programs before getting the loan approved.
The recent fire named ‘Camp Fire’ was suspected to be linked to the company’s equipment, which has killed 86 people, characterized as California’s biggest wildfire in history. It destroyed a massive Californian land, comparable to the size of the Chicago state and put to dust a total of 14,000 homes. In numbers, the fire caused $7B damages and incur massive lawsuits against major companies like the PG&E.
Invest in Safety and Reliability
In an article published by Mercury News, PG&E said in a statement, “We are pleased that the court approved PG&E’s access to $5.5B in debtor in possession financing, which will provide us with the capital necessary to continue to invest in safety and reliability.”
Over the years, the power utility company has been linked to the massive wildfires in California, particularly in 2015, 2017, 2018 and the notorious 2016 Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland.
Several experts expressed disappointment with the ruling of the judge, claiming that PG&E’s ‘unwillingness to compromise.’ In the words of Cecily Dumas, attorney for the claimant’s committee, PG&E is being ‘uncooperative’ in terms of negotiations for the deal.
“We haven’t been taken seriously by the debtor. We have been taken seriously by the lenders,” claimed Dumas.
PG&E will start inspecting power lines and conduct maintenance to prevent future risks linked to fire.