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PG&E releases statement after Camp Fire sentencing

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 18, 2020

PG&E released a statement Thursday after accepting its sentence in Butte County Superior Court related to the company's role in the 2018 Camp Fire.

In accordance with the plea agreement, the utility pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting a fire.

PG&E agreed to pay a maximum fine of $3.5 million.

The following statement was delivered today in court by incoming Interim CEO of PG&E Corporation Bill Smith.

“During these past two days, we have heard the victims of the 2018 Camp Fire share their traumatic and tragic experiences. We have heard every word—from the ones in person, the ones on the phone and the ones read by Mr. Ramsey.

We respect and honor each of those victims—what they have experienced and what they have shared with us at this hearing. We will never forget their pain.

It can never be said too many times: We accept responsibility for our role in the Camp Fire, and all 23,000 employees are committed to making sure our equipment never again causes a catastrophe like this.

On behalf of everyone at PG&E, I’m truly sorry for the terrible loss of life and the physical and emotional damage resulting from the fire. I recognize that no apology, no plea, no sentencing can undo that damage, and no passage of time can lessen the anguish we heard expressed in this courtroom.

All of us know that actions speak louder than words.

We have taken action, and we will continue to take action to combat the growing threat of wildfires and keep our customers and our communities safe.

We have been working tirelessly to improve our processes, harden our systems, and incorporate advanced weather technology to give us better insight into what’s happening in these risky conditions.

Overall, we are making comprehensive and meaningful changes to make PG&E the safe and reliable utility that Northern and Central Californians deserve. We are committed fully to continuing that work.

While nothing will repair the wounds caused by the Camp Fire, we hope the actions we are taking will begin to restore the trust of our communities and their confidence that we are working to keep them safe.

Your Honor, we have come before this Court, the Camp Fire victims, and the community—with humility and respect—ready to be held to account for this tragedy and committed to regaining the trust that we have broken.”