Newsom’s staff and lawyers crafted law to protect campaign mega donor PG&E after company killed 84 people
By Ari Hoffman | The Post Millennial
PG&E contributed $208,400 to Newsom’s campaign for Governor in 2018
California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom allegedly crafted legislation to help campaign donor Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) after the company pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for causing the massive 2018 Camp Fire that killed 84 people.
PG&E contributed $208,400 to Newsom’s campaign for Governor in 2018.
The outlet described the legislation, Assembly Bill 1054, as “a law designed to bail out PG&E.” According to emails and documents obtained by the outlet the law offices of New York law firm O’Melvany and Myers drafted AB 1054 in the spring of 2019 under a contract to represent Newsom’s office in PG&E’s bankruptcy with taxpayers footing the $3 million bill.
Emails revealed that legislative staffers referred to AB 1054 as “the governor’s bill on utility stability.” The legislation created a $21 billion wildfire fund that California’s power companies can utilize if their equipment ignites a fire that causes damages assuming the commission rules that the utility companies acted responsibly.
After the bill was signed into law, legislation was added to amend the law closer to the version created by Newsom’s law firm.
Guggenheim, an investment bank also participated in crafting the bill and cost California taxpayers another $3.7 million.
The emails also revealed that Newsom’s lawyers were hired by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to write sections of AB 1054.The agency also waived a $200 million fine to help PG&E exit bankruptcyfollowing the verdicts and is refusing to hand over the communications they had at the time with Newsom’s staffers.
According to ABC10, Newsom’s office “declined or ignored at least ten interview requests on the PG&E crisis” over the past three years, and did not directly answer questions submitted by email.