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PG&E offer assurances to Placer’s Pioneer

Energy corporation prepares for Chapter 11
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Pacific Gas & Electric is assuring Placer County’s Pioneer Community Energy that it doesn’t expect any impact to electric and natural gas service as a result of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.

The beleaguered San Francisco-based corporation dropped a bombshell Tuesday when it announced it was preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the face of huge losses related to claims from Northern California fires — most noticeably November’s Camp Fire that swept through Paradise.

In making the disclosure, PG&E stated that it remains committed to providing safe natural gas and electric service to customers “in an environment that continues to be challenged by climate change.”

On Tuesday, PG&E also reached out to Placer County’s Pioneer Community Energy to make similar assurances. The year-old partnership between Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin and Placer County provides an option other than PG&E on electricity and establishes its own rates with local control.

Jenine Windeshausen, Placer County treasurer and a driving force in establishing Pioneer, said  there are still questions to be answered on the focus of the Chapter 11 filing and liabilities that have resulted from fires around the state.

“The main message for Pioneer customers is that PG&E is not expecting any changes related to the bankruptcy and that they’ve provided us assurances that the lights will stay on and they will respond to outages,” Windeshausen said. “They indicated there was no impact to the day-to-day process and no plans to reduce staffing in the area.”