Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom has repeatedly called out PG&E for "corporate greed" in light of its role in the latest round of wildfires in his state — but it turns out his wife's nonprofit has received more than $350,000 from the utility's philanthropic branch.
Newsom has faced tough questions from local media for taking PG&E to task with his words while refusing to say whether he should return or donate any of the $227,000 that the company has given to his political campaigns and affiliated committees.
In addition, PG&E's philanthropic branch gave $358,000 to Newsom's wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom's nonprofit the Representation Project between 2011 and 2018, The Washington Post reported. Her foundation bills itself as a gender watchdog organization and releases her films to "challenge limiting gender stereotypes and shift norms."
PG&E was even listed as an associate producer in the credits of two of the Representation Project's films and hosted screenings, The Post reported.
FOX Business' inquiries to the Representation Project and Newsom's office were not immediately returned.
PG&E also gave $10,000 to the Plumpjack Foundation, which is helmed by the governor's sister Hilary Newsom, The Post reported.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in California's state legislature took money from PG&E, too. Ninety-eight sitting members received donations of $1,000 or more, although some have returned or donated the money, ABC10 reported.
"Every dollar that PG&E spends on a campaign contribution right now is one they should be spending to hasten the transition to a safer, more distributed electrical grid," David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, told The Post.
PG&E downplayed the size of its contributions to Newsom and the Representation Project, pointing out that it has invested $27 billion in its electric system including $3 billion in vegetation management and tree trimming.
Hundreds of thousands of Californians were ordered to evacuate their homes because of recent wildfires.
Victims face an uncertain future both personally and financially as the types of payouts from PG&E remain unclear.
The San Francisco-based power company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of liabilities stemming from deadly wildfires in northern California in 2017 and 2018, has an enterprise value, or market value plus debt, of about $25.5 billion, meaning that is all it can pay out in bankruptcy.
FOX Business' Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.