Pacific Gas & Electric is bankrupt. At the same time, it must still continue to provide power to its customers and is being legally required to manage the lands its power lines cross. The firm and its equipment — as you know — is being blamed for many of the wildfires that have decimated California over the last couple of years.
Those fires and the company’s culpability have driven it to declare bankruptcy.
To get all of the trees cleared and branches trimmed around power lines will require a lot of labor. PG&E said to accomplish that it will need — at the most — $350 million. A hunk of that is for employee overtime. However, company officials think the task can be accomplished for $235 million.
U.S Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali in San Francisco has approved the plan. Montali grilled John Lowe who is responsible for the company’s compensation program. The judge agreed he’s the expert and will go along. “It was helpful for me to hear from him,” Montali said. “Bottom line is I will defer to judgment of management.”
PG&E has to remove 375,000 trees this year.