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P G & E Back in Court

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will be back in a U.S. courtroom a day after filing for bankruptcy.

The nation’s largest utility will try to convince a judge at a hearing Wednesday not to order dramatic steps aimed at preventing its equipment from causing more wildfires.

U.S. Judge William Alsup is overseeing a criminal conviction against PG&E on pipeline safety charges stemming from a deadly gas line explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010.

He proposed earlier this month as part of its probation that PG&E remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines in high-wind conditions and shut off power at certain times. PG&E shot back in a court filing that the judge’s proposals would endanger lives and could cost as much as $150 billion.

The interim chief executive of Pacific Gas & Electric said after the company filed for bankruptcy that it’s most important responsibility is to safety.
John R. Simon said in a statement Tuesday that the country’s largest utility is dedicated to rebuilding California communities devastated by wildfires. He said PG&E needs to find a more sustainable way to deliver energy.

After Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. filed for bankruptcy, S&P Global Ratings lowered the utility’s credit rating to D, which is below junk status.
It’s a standard response when a company files for bankruptcy protection, as the utility did Tuesday amid billions of dollars in potential liability from deadly wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018.