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Opinion
Liam Denning

Markets Cheer a PG&E Plan; Ratepayers May Feel Differently

California tries to figure out who pays for wildfire damage, and Gavin Newsom’s voters may not like the answer.

These cleanups are costly.

These cleanups are costly.

Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images North America

In case it needs to be said, shares in a bankrupt utility mired in the aftermath of catastrophic wildfires and the politics of California are liable to sudden and inexplicable moves.

One such came late on Wednesday, when Bloomberg News reported PG&E Corp. had proposed a plan to lawmakers in Sacramento for an $11 billion fund to cover claims from previous wildfires and contribute toward covering future ones. The plan was reportedly worked up in conjunction with lawyers representing a group of hedge funds holding equity in the bankrupt utility.