PG&E, utility tied to deadly California wildfires, will file for bankruptcy

Employees of Pacific Gas & Electric work in the aftermath of the Camp Fire in Paradise

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement in the wake of all the troubles: "While PG&E announced its intent to file bankruptcy today, the company should continue to honor promises made to energy suppliers and to our community..."

PG&E Corp, the biggest US power utility, said on Monday it is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for all of its businesses as it faces potentially crushing liabilities linked to catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

The company said Sunday night that CEO Geisha Williams has stepped down.

"While we are making progress as a company in safety and other areas, the Board recognizes the tremendous challenges PG&E continues to face".

PG&E faces widespread litigation, government investigations and liabilities that could potentially reach $30 billion, according to the company, accounting for damage from fires previous year and in 2017.

Kelly said the board will look for a new CEO with extensive operational and safety expertise, and is committed to "further change at PG&E".

The full press release from PG&E can be found on its website.

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John Simon, PG&E's executive vice president and general counsel, will serve as interim CEO as the board searches for a new leader.

Investigators are looking closely at whether PG&E's equipment ignited the Camp Fire, the deadliest fire in California history.

The company, in a public filing, cited at least $7 billion in claims from the Camp Fire.

The utility is planning to notify employees as soon as Monday that it may make a Chapter 11 filing within 15 days, people familiar with the plan said Saturday. The Camp Fire killed 86 people and all but destroyed the town of Paradise.

The company has about $1.5 billion in cash heading into bankruptcy and is negotiating with lenders to get about $5.5 billion more in debtor-in-possession financing to stay in business and continue providing power and gas to millions of Californians, according to Reuters.

Earlier this month, NPR reported that PG&E has developed a plan, dubbed "Project Falcon", to sell off its natural gas division as a way to fund the billions of dollars in potential claims from the California wildfires.

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