Climate One: How Climate Broke California’s Biggest Utility (5-4-2019)

Climate One

Host: Greg Dalton

Guests:  Dian Grueneich, Former Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission; J.D. Morris, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle; Mark Toney, Executive Director, The Utility Reform Network; Alex Ghenis, Policy and Research Specialist, World Institute on Disability; Hunter Stern, Business Representative, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245; Loretta Lynch, Former Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission; Laura Wisland, Senior Manager, Western States Energy, Union of Concerned Scientists

PG&E has had a bad few years. A series of record-breaking wildfires culminating with 2018’s devastating Camp Fire propelled the California utility giant into lawsuits, $30 billion in liabilities and, ultimately, bankruptcy. Under new state laws, regulated utilities will have a hard time avoiding blame in fires where their equipment is involved—so what’s ahead for PG&E’s peers and their shareholders when a deadly blaze could spell bankruptcy? What happens when the California dream of living near nature is in direct conflict with disruptive tragedies fueled by climate change?

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