Senator Dianne Feinstein released the following statement after Pacific Gas and Electric Co. agreed to pay $1 billion in damages to 14 local governments for recent wildfires:
“This $1 billion settlement agreement would be a step forward in the recovery process for California communities devastated by the wildfires. It will help local governments continue to rebuild and offset losses in tax revenue.
“I hope the bankruptcy court approves the agreement and makes these funds available to the communities recovering from these terrible disasters.
“This settlement doesn’t, however, cover the estimated $30 billion in lawsuits brought by private individuals and businesses. I hope PG&E will continue to work with those victims to reach agreeable settlements.
“A significant portion of that $1 billion will go to Butte County and the town of Paradise, which was destroyed by last year’s Camp Fire. The fire, which Cal Fire found started after a 99-year-old PG&E transmission tower failed, killed 85 people and burned nearly 14,000 homes. I’ve never seen devastation like that before.
“We’ve seen numerous reports of failures by PG&E to prioritize public safety that would protect Californians from wildfire. Bill Johnson, the new CEO, needs to act quickly to correct those problems, and I intend to follow this closely to make sure it’s done. We must help these communities recover.”