A U.S. bankruptcy judge in San Francisco gave final approval Saturday to PG&E’s $58 billion plan for exiting its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The confirmation order signed by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali ends the utility’s 17 months in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which temporarily suspended PG&E debts that included billions of dollars in claims for losses from wildfires caused by its electrical equipment.
The financial reorganization plan provides $25.5 billion for wildfire losses, including a $13.5 billion trust for wildfire victims, $11 billion for insurance companies that paid claims and $1 billion for state and local government agencies.
Montali announced in a ruling on Wednesday that he had decided to approve the plan after finalizing the wording.
In that decision, which was incorporated into Saturday’s confirmation order, he called the plan an “important step toward facilitating the process of paying those victims and creditors.”
Rejecting the plan would mean leaving PG&E in bankruptcy without any immediate prospect of resolution, Montali wrote.
The judge wrote:
“Leaving tens of thousands of fire survivors, contract parties, lenders, general creditors, allegedly defrauded investors, equity owners and countless others with no other options on the horizon is not an acceptable alternative.”
PG&E said on Wednesday:
“Throughout the Chapter 11 process, our focus has remained on getting wildfire victims paid, continuing to deliver safe and reliable energy to our customers, and implementing needed changes across our business to improve our operations for the long term.”