SAN FRANCISCO (AP)
California regulators are recommending adoption of Pacific Gas & Electric's safety plan aimed at reducing wildfires in the state.
Staff members with the California Public Utilities Commission on Monday urged members to approve the plan when they meet on May 30.
The Northern California utility proposes shutting power to more customers more often during hot, windy days, beefing up tree trimming along its power lines and adding more inspectors, among other proposals.
PG&E's equipment has been blamed for the majority of major wildfires in California over the past three years. A federal judge ordered the company to dramatically revamp its safety plans.
The California PUC is also being advised to approve similar safety plans for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and several smaller utilities that, combined, supply most of the gas and electric to the state.
Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.'s top financial executives say they still haven't determined when the utility can start compensating victims of recent wildfires started by the utility's equipment.
Victims' lawyers questioned PG&E executives during a bankruptcy meeting Monday in San Francisco. They wanted to know when the utility would file its plan to emerge from bankruptcy and pay the billions of dollars in claims pending against it.
PG&E Chief Financial Officer Jason Wells said the utility doesn't yet know when it will file that plan.
Wells said the company recognizes it must act as quickly as possible, but said a lot of work remains to be done before PG&E can file its plan including working with state lawmakers to pass new laws limiting its future wildfire liabilities.
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