This Wednesday PG&E objected to the plans of a federal judge regarding wildfire safety by terming it as an unrealistic approach. They explained how to inspect every inch of the company’s electricity grid, and the removal of various dangerous trees would force the company to shell out anywhere between $75 billion and $150 billion. This will further lead to a big hike in the rates.
The utility which is embattled has plans to file for bankruptcy soon all due to the wildfire claims. The company officials have stated that the company can’t raise these funds as of now. To shell out more money, they would be turning towards the ratepayers. There will arise a case of rate hike if the costs are increased by$75 billion. It will be five times more than the utility bills. The company has filed its statement in a US District Court.
On the other hand, the company has already requested its state regulators to increase the rates by $1 billion. This will help it to fund its safety efforts modestly. This plan will also be suited for the reduction of wildlife fire risks in California.
Regarding the judge’s plan, the company further stated that this is not feasible. They find it impossible to recruit a large number of tree trimmers who could carry out the orders before the beginning of June fire season. The latest filing by PG&E has led to a twist in its run-up regarding the bankruptcy of Chapter 11. And will begin any time after June 29. This delay has caused headaches for the regulators. Many experts also feel that the wildlife survivors will find it hard to get paid adequately for their damages.
Judges have pointed about how the wildlife safety plans of PG&E was not that ambitious, and they keep imposing blackouts in case the wind speed is high.