“After months of pressure from California officials and shareholders, PG&E Corp. on Wednesday tapped a longtime utility executive to run the company and unveiled a plan to replace most of its board of directors,” as The Chronicle is reporting.
“Bill Johnson, the outgoing chief of the Tennessee Valley Authority, is expected to take the post of PG&E CEO later this month, replacing John Simon, who has served as interim CEO since Geisha Williams abruptly left the company right before it announced it would seek bankruptcy protection three months ago.
“At the same time, PG&E said it is appointing 10 new directors, replacing all but three of the board’s current members. They will join the board at the next meeting, which the company plans to hold as soon as is practical and choose a chair from its ranks.
“PG&E is also proposing that Johnson sit on the board. All 14 of its proposed directors will stand for election at the May 21 shareholders’ meeting, PG&E said.
“The next chief executive and the new directors face the daunting task of steering the company while it restructures in Bankruptcy Court and tries to minimize the likelihood that its power lines will ignite more catastrophic wildfires.
“Both PG&E Corp. and its subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. filed for bankruptcy protection in late January, citing potential wildfire liabilities that could exceed $30 billion.”
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If California wildfires continue to be as devastating as they have been the past two years, millions of customers’ electric rates could skyrocket 50% and threaten the state’s ability to execute some of its top clean energy initiatives, according to a new analysis prepared for Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The sharp rate rise would be worse for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers, whose bills could double in just one year, said Steven Weissman, an emeritus lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, in a Wednesday memo to a Newsom administration official.