PG&E Corp., suspected of starting California’s deadliest wildfire, may soon get help from state lawmakers – just not the help it most wants.
As early as Dec. 3, a lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would give the state’s largest utility owner a way to pay off billions of dollars in potential liabilities it faces from the Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. It killed at least 85 people, torched more than 13,600 homes and sent PG&E shares spiraling.
But lawmakers appear unlikely to give PG&E and the state’s other utilities the relief they have sought for a year: a change to rules that automatically hold the companies responsible for any fire damage tied to their equipment.
Assemblyman Chris Holden, the Democrat who plans to introduce the measure for the 2018 fires, said he’s currently unconvinced legislators need to review the rule, known as inverse condemnation, since they’ve earlier passed a package that addresses blazes starting next year.