California to Conduct Wide-Ranging Review of PG&E, Including Possible Breakup

A California regulator said late Thursday that it was expanding a probe of PG&E Corp.’s P safety practices to explore the way the company is managed and run, including whether it should be broken up.

“I will open a new phase examining the corporate governance, structure, and operation of PG&E, including in light of the recent wildfires, to determine the best path forward for Northern Californians to receive safe electrical and gas service in the future,” Michael Picker, the president of the California Public Utilities Commission, said in a statement.

Later, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said was concerned about how PG&E handled safety operations, including its transmission lines that have sparked wildfires in recent years. He said the company’s decision to compensate its former chief executive after PG&E was found negligent for a large 2010 gas explosion that killed eight people as well as its failure to replace its board “left us wondering is anyone ever accountable for failing to provide safety at PG&E.”

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