SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California lawmakers approved legislation on Thursday to create a $21 billion fund to help utilities in the state pay for claims arising from future wildfires sparked by their equipment, tackling a top issue for the state.
The approval came after power provider PG&E Corp filed for bankruptcy in anticipation of more than $30 billion in wildfire liabilities.
Legislation - Governor - Gavin - Newsom - Governor
The legislation now goes to Governor Gavin Newsom. The governor in June proposed California set up such a fund after S&P Global Ratings warned it could lower its ratings on the state’s two other major investor-owned power providers, Edison International’s Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric, to below investment-grade on or about July 12.
S&P called for California’s leaders to take “concrete actions” to reduce credit risks posed by wildfires to the state’s utilities, which are under intense scrutiny after two years of brutal wildfires blamed on San Francisco-based PG&E’s equipment.
Newsom - Statement - Bill - Lawmakers - Action
Newsom in a statement cheered the bill approved by lawmakers, calling it a “decisive action.”
“Strengthening our state’s wildfire prevention, preparedness and mitigation efforts will continue to be a top priority for my administration and our work with the legislature,” the Democratic governor added.
State - Senator - Bill - Dodd - Democrat
State Senator Bill Dodd, a Democrat who co-authored the legislation, said he expects Newsom will approve the bill soon.
“All that’s left is the...
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