1. PG&E Corporation ($PCG)
A bit over a week ago, we wrote the following in “PG&E Shareholders are Looking Increasingly PG&F’d”:
We’ve been negligent with our coverage — really, lack thereof — of the PG&E Corporation ($PCG) bankruptcy. Why? Well. Why bother, really? Eight months in and this sucker doesn’t appear much closer to a resolution.
This remains true. But it doesn’t mean sh*t ain’t happening. And most of it hasn’t been great for the company:
No Bonds for You. California Assemblyman Chad Mayes reportedly pulled legislation that might have given the company access to as much as $20mm in tax-exempt Wildfire Victim Recovery Bond proceeds (which would be repaid via future “profits” rather than rate increases). “PG&E for weeks had been lobbying lawmakers to pass the legislation, arguing that quick access to the bond money is critical to its effort to settle wildfire claims and emerge from bankruptcy court by next summer.” Why? Obviously, that amount of money could go a long way to addressing the company’s stupendous-yet-contingent liabilities. Maybe…just maybe…depending on politicians was ill-advised.
Sweep Under the Rug. Wrongdoing may be a feature not a bug. Without ever confirming allegations, PG&E has apparently made a habit of paying state and federal penalties and legal settlements over the years. The WSJ pegs the number at $2.6b over 23 years. This thing is a liability machine.
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