Gov. Newsom calls for swift changes to PG&E

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday he is taking action to get Pacific Gas & Electric out of bankruptcy as soon as possible.

Right now, PG&E is expected to get out of bankruptcy by June 30. But Newsom is hoping to broker a deal to speed up the process.

“PG&E, as we know it, cannot persist and continue,” Newsom told reporters. “It has to be completely transformed, culturally transformed, operationally transformed.”

Gov. Newsom is calling on all parties in the utility’s bankruptcy to come to Sacramento next week to sort out the proceeding sooner.

The governor has said major changes to PG&E cannot happen until it is out of bankruptcy.

The utility has been under constant criticism for its role in wildfires and widespread power shutoffs.

“PG&E, as we know it, may or may not be able to figure this out,” Newsom said. “If they cannot, we are not going to sit around and be passive.”

Newsom said the state and a new strike team are exploring any and all backup plans in the event PG&E does not make major changes on its own. The governor said he is not ruling out a government takeover.

Newsom’s administration also hired advisors to envision a 21st century utility, which he said will match the state’s already modern emergency management.

“We have world-class firefighters doing world-class work every single day and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” the governor said. “What we don’t have is world-class utilities.”

While a conclusion to PG&E’s bankruptcy is still months out and with wildfire season underway, Newsom maintained he does not think a special legislative session is necessary at this point while this effort and others are underway.

 

Ashley Zavala filed this report.

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