PG&E, California agree to $1.68 billion settlement for wildfires

The California Public Utilities Commission has proposed a $1.68 billion settlement with PG&E Corp. for the role the utility company played in igniting a series of deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that killed more than 100 people.

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Under the terms of the settlement included in a filing by the regulator, the company would be required to spend the amount of the penalty on steps to prevent future wildfires. It wouldn't be allowed to pass those costs on to its customers in the form of higher rates.

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The settlement, which still needs to be approved by utility commissioners, is a slightly larger penalty than the settlement PG&E and the regulator reached in 2015 over a 2010 explosion in San Bruno, Calif.

State regulators fined PG&E $1.6 billion for more than 2,000 violations of federal and state safety rules in connection with the San Bruno explosion. PG&E also had to return $635 million it collected from customers for pipeline improvements that were either never made or mismanaged.

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