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California lawmakers reviewing utility plan for wildfire liability

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jun 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-22 19:22:53-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The Latest on a plan by the California governor to create a fund for utilities to tap if they face massive liability costs from wildfires. (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

California legislative leaders aren’t yet on board with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to create a fund that utilities can tap if they face massive liability costs from wildfires.

Senate leader Toni Atkins says the chamber hasn’t yet received a formal proposal from Newsom.

She says any action taken by the Legislature must protect ratepayers and wildfire victims while keeping electric service reliable.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says committees will need to review the proposal and hold public hearings.

Under the plan, utilities would have to adopt strict safety measures, including tying executive compensation to safety performance, to access the fund.

Newsom’s proposal Friday was not written in formal language needed to begin the legislative process. He says he wants a deal by July 12.


11:15 a.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to throw a financial lifeline to California’s biggest electric companies dealing with the results of disastrous wildfires – but only if the companies agree to concessions such as tying executive pay to safety.

The plan announced Friday would also require companies to spend a combined $3 billion on safety measures over the next three years.

If the utilities satisfy the proposed requirements, they would get financial assistance from the state.

Newsom is proposing letting Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric decide what type of assistance fund they want. Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. would not get a say as it goes through bankruptcy proceedings.

Legislators still have to approve the plan. Newsom aims to strike a deal within the next three weeks.

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