Gov. Gavin Newsom Says More Than Half of PG&E’s Debt From Tubbs Fire, Which Utility Did Not Cause

Then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom views damage from wildfires in Paradise, Calif. on Nov. 17, 2018. (Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom views damage from wildfires in Paradise, Calif. on Nov. 17, 2018. (Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom says more than half of the debt PG&E says it might owe stems from a fire that investigators said Thursday the utility did not cause, putting its bankruptcy plans into doubt.

State fire investigators released a report saying that the deadly 2017 Tubbs Fire that scorched Napa and Sonoma counties was caused by privately maintained electric lines.

The newly elected Democrat said his office estimates that $17 billion of the $30 billion Pacific Gas & Electric estimates as potential liabilities from wildfire-related lawsuits in 2017 and 2018 was due to the Tubbs Fire.

The utility company said in response to Newsom’s math that it still faces extensive litigation.

Newsom said the issue is likely far from settled legally and that he’s asked the newly appointed Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery to speed up its recommendations.

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