Energy Giant PG&E Files for Bankruptcy in Wake of California Wildfires

It is believed that the deadly Camp Fire of 2017 was caused by a down PG&E power line.

Camp Fire
Fueled by high winds and low humidity the Camp Fire ripped through the town of Paradise charring 105,000 acres, killing 23 people and destroying over 6,700 homes and businesses. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Pacific Gas and Electric has filed for bankruptcy after the company suffered from billions of dollars in claims tied to California’s deadly wildfires.

The state’s largest power company, PG&E said in a statement Tuesday that it submitted a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the Northern District of California, CNN reported. It will continue to provide services to customers throughout the bankruptcy process.

The company’s Interim CEO, John Simon, said in a statement that he would work “to create a more sustainable foundation for the delivery of safe, reliable and affordable service.”

“We have heard the calls for change and we are determined to take action throughout this process to build the energy system our customers want and deserve,” he continued.

PG&E was linked to a series of wildfires in California late last year, including the Camp Fire, which caused 86 deaths and destroyed 14,000 homes, more than 500 businesses and 4,300 other buildings. It is believed that the Camp Fire was started when a PG&E power line came in contact with nearby trees.

The company said Tuesday it was seeking approval for a $5.5 billion debtor-in-possession financing agreement as it had only about $1.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand.

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