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California PUC opposes PGE bankruptcy plan

THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC utilities Commission (CPUC) has expressed its opposition to Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy reorganisation plan. CPUC has said PG&E’s plan was an attempt ‘to escape from state regulatory oversight, and not simply to adjust the utility’s relationship with its creditors and restore it to financial health’.

The reorganisation plan submitted by Pacific Gas & Electric, a unit of San Francisco-based PG&E Corporation, would split the parent company and its utility into stand-alone companies, transforming its hydro network, Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and gas and electric transmission grids to unregulated units of parent PG&E.

The plan is intended to give the utility US$4.5B from the asset transfers to help pay off about US$13B in debts, including US$9B in unrecovered power purchase costs incurred in California’s energy crisis.