USA – SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. December 12, 2019 – PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (together, “PG&E”) today filed an amended Plan of Reorganization with the Bankruptcy Court in its Chapter 11 cases. The Plan reflects PG&E’s settlements with all major groups of wildfire claimants and keeps PG&E on track to achieve regulatory approval and Bankruptcy Court confirmation in advance of the June 30, 2020, statutory deadline for participation in the state’s new wildfire fund.
The company believes its Plan is confirmable, satisfies all requirements of Assembly Bill 1054 (AB 1054) and complies with the Bankruptcy Code. It is the product of extensive negotiations, treats all victims fairly, protects customers and employees, and will enable PG&E to emerge from Chapter 11 as a financially sound utility positioned to serve California for the long term.
“Today’s filing brings us one step closer to successfully concluding PG&E’s Chapter 11 cases so that the wildfire victims can be compensated as quickly as possible. We appreciate the extensive work by many stakeholders that went into this Plan, in particular the efforts of our state leaders to encourage all parties to work quickly to find common ground,” said CEO and President of PG&E Corporation Bill Johnson.
“We believe our Plan is the best solution for all constituencies, and we look forward to bringing these complex proceedings to their conclusion. In the meantime, we continue to make meaningful changes and additional investments throughout the company to reduce the risk of wildfire and help us continue to deliver safe, reliable energy to our customers,” Johnson said.
The company is committed to working with all stakeholders to confirm support for the Plan, to obtaining regulatory approval from the California Public Utilities Commission consistent with AB 1054, and to achieving confirmation of the Plan by the Bankruptcy Court in advance of June 30, 2020.
PG&E’s Plan: Best Path Forward
PG&E’s Plan prioritizes getting wildfire victims paid soonest by resolving outstanding litigation and eliminating the need for a Tubbs Fire trial and a costly and uncertain estimation process. PG&E assumes its obligations to its employees and creditors without impairments, making sure all parties are treated fairly.
The plan put forward by the Ad Hoc Bondholders group (the Elliott plan) is a last-ditch effort to derail the wildfire victims’ settlements, and force costly, uncertain and protracted litigation. That plan would enrich those firms backing it by charging interest rates on debt that are both above market rate and higher than required by law, rather than putting those ratepayer dollars toward safety, reliability and clean energy investments.
Major Settlements Reached
As announced last week, PG&E reached a settlement valued at approximately $13.5 billion to resolve all remaining wildfire claims, including individual claims, relating to the 2015 Butte Fire, 2016 Ghost Ship Fire, 2017 Northern California Wildfires (including the 2017 Tubbs Fire), and the 2018 Camp Fire pursuant to the terms of PG&E’s Plan. PG&E’s Plan has the support of the Official Committee of Tort Claimants and firms representing approximately 70% of wildfire victims.
PG&E previously reached settlements with two major groups of wildfire claim holders, including a $1 billion settlement with cities, counties, and other public entities, and an $11 billion agreement with insurance companies and other entities that have already paid insurance coverage for claims relating to the 2017 and 2018 wildfires.
Today, PG&E also resolved the disputed release provisions between the wildfire victims and insurance companies, which was a condition to the settlement with the wildfire victims.
Compensate wildfire victims and certain limited public entities from a trust funded for their benefit in the amount of approximately $13.5 billion in accordance with the terms of the Tort Claimants Restructuring Support Agreement, which is subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court and other conditions;
Compensate insurance subrogation claimants from a trust funded for their benefit in the amount of $11 billion in accordance with the terms of the Subrogation Claims Settlement and Restructuring Support Agreement, which is subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court and other conditions;
Pay $1 billion in full settlement of the claims of certain public entities like cities and counties relating to the wildfires, as previously announced;
Pay in full, with interest at the legal rate, all prepetition funded debt obligations, all prepetition trade claims and all prepetition employee-related claims;
Assume all power purchase agreements and community choice aggregation servicing agreements;
Assume all pension obligations, other employee obligations, and collective bargaining agreements with labor; and
Provide for PG&E’s future participation in the state wildfire fund established by Assembly Bill 1054.
PG&E’s Plan is fully financeable throughout the capital structure. This includes the over $12 billion of equity backstop commitments that the company received last week to support its Plan.
PG&E’s Plan is subject to confirmation by the Bankruptcy Court in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.
PG&E has taken and continues to take critical actions to improve safety and strengthen its operations, including:
Completing enhanced and accelerated inspections of more than 700,000 transmission, distribution and substation assets of its electric infrastructure in high fire-threat areas and addressing immediate safety risks;
Conducting enhanced vegetation management, including meeting and exceeding important state standards regarding clearances around power lines in high fire-threat areas;
Conducting system hardening and resiliency, including replacing wood poles with more resilient poles, replacing bare overhead conductor with covered conductor, targeted undergrounding, and establishing temporary microgrids;
Upgrading its Wildfire Safety Operations Center, which serves as PG&E’s 24/7 hub for monitoring wildfire risks and coordinating prevention and response efforts across Northern and Central California;
Installing more than 600 weather stations and 130 high-definition cameras across its service area. PG&E will continue to expand these networks in high fire-threat areas to enhance weather forecasting and modeling and improve the company’s ability to predict and respond to extreme wildfire danger;
Naming Bill Johnson as Chief Executive Officer and President of PG&E Corporation;
Naming Andrew M. Vesey as Chief Executive Officer and President of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, with responsibility for all aspects of Utility operations;
Appointing new leaders in Electric Operations and Gas Operations;
Establishing a $105 million Wildfire Assistance Fund to aid those displaced by the 2017 Northern California wildfires and 2018 Camp Fire who are either uninsured or need assistance with the cost of substitute or temporary housing or other urgent needs; and
Continuing to invest in PG&E’s systems, infrastructure and critical safety efforts while delivering safe natural gas and electric service to its millions of customers.