California utilities regulators would have the option of letting power companies charge their customers for some of the costs of lawsuits stemming from disastrous 2017 wildfires under legislation that will go before the Assembly and Senate this week.
After weeks of meetings, a legislative conference committee advanced its final proposal to the full Legislature on Tuesday. It would allow ratepayers to be charged even if the utilities were found to be unreasonable in building, maintaining or operating their equipment.
Ratepayer advocates called it a bailout.
The legislation would apply only to wildfires in 2017, which was the deadliest and most expensive fire season on record. Dozens of people were killed, and thousands of homes destroyed.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has warned that it faces potentially crippling legal liability from those fires.
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