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PG&E could face over $1.9 billion in fines for role in 2017 & 2018 wildfires

 PG&E Truck
Posted at 2:40 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 17:41:26-04

SACREMENTO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company could face fines of up to $1.937 billion dollars for its role in the 2017 and 2018 wildfires if a proposal from the California Public Utilities Commission passes.

According to the CPUC, the proposal will be on the CPUC’s May 7 Voting Meeting agenda. It's the largest penalty ever assessed by the CPUC.

The proposal approves with modifications a settlement between PG&E, the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division and Office of the Safety Advocate, and the Coalition of California Utility Employees. It effectively increases the penalty amount in the settlement by $262 million and any realized tax savings associated with shareholder funded operating expenses under the modified settlement agreement will be returned to PG&E customers.

The $1.937 billion penalty fines would include $1.823 billion in disallowances for wildfire-related expenditures, meaning PG&E shareholders will pay the cost of expenditures that it would otherwise seek to recover from customers. The fines would also include $114 million in System Enhancement Initiatives and corrective actions to further protect public safety.

The proposal also imposes a $200 million fine, with the obligation to pay permanently suspended, in order to ensure that payment of the fine does not reduce the funds available to satisfy the claims of wildfire victims.