In September, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of bills aimed at keeping Pacific Gas and Electric and other utilities solvent as they combated possibly billions of dollars in liability from wildfire lawsuits.
The controversial law, SB 901, allowed utilities to issue bonds to help pay for their wildfire liability costs, enabling those costs to be passed on to ratepayers, among other things.
But now that PG&E says it is filing for bankruptcy protection, the state’s top two assemblymen overseeing utilities tell KQED News that the plan to extend that law to 2018 is off the table.
The law allowed PG&E to issue bonds -- which will be repaid by ratepayers -- to cover any costs associated with the 2017 fires.
However, SB 901 didn’t include fires taking place in 2018, a gap that Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy, had expressed interest in closing in early December, at the start of the legislative session.