After rallying in the 'good' news that the company has entered Chapter 11, PG&E's stock is lower today, not helped by a federal judge's comments slamming the triple-bankrupt utility for serially starting fires.
Following a series of massive fires along its 125,000 miles of power lines over the last two years, Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup - who is overseeing PG&E’s probation for safety violations that led to felony convictions for the 2010 explosion of one of its gas pipelines, which killed eight people - didn’t back down from his criticism of the utility despite being told he had overreached.
“Usually a criminal on probation is forthcoming and admits what they need to admit. You haven’t admitted much,” Alsup told lawyers for the company at a hearing Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco.
“There’s a clear-cut pattern here: that PG&E is starting these fires.”
Among other suggestions, the judge proposed subjecting the company to criminal sanctions if it failed to shut off electric supply to portions of the grid on extremely windy days, trim tree branches and inspect and repair thousands of miles of power lines.
But of course, what are a few tens of billions of dollars of liabilities? BTFD!!
We remember the old days where corporate bankruptcy was a negative event for shareholders.