PG&E CEO asks lawmakers to approve new debt for bankruptcy exit plan


San Francisco Chronicle

Michael Boccadoro, executive director of the energy consumer group, said the bond plan is a bad idea that would primarily benefit PG&E’s equity owners who want to increase the value of their stock.

“They’re just leveraging the future,” he said. “It’s a great (plan) for hedge fund shareholders … not ratepayers.”

Boccadoro noted that, though PG&E says customers won’t be impacted because shareholders will pay off the new debt, the company is already asking regulators to let it raise shareholder profits — which, in turn, will raise rates.

PG&E originally wanted to raise its authorized shareholder returns from 10.25% to 16% to account for its worsening wildfire risks. But the company lowered its request to 12% in light of a bill Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last month that creates a new fund to protect electric companies from future fire costs.

The new request from PG&E would add more than $4 to the monthly bill of an average residential customer, according to the company.