Weekly Energy Digest for June 19, 2020

By Published On: June 19, 2020

Some energy-related news stories we’ve been reading this week …


The Federal Bureau of Land Management has approved oil drilling in Carrizo Plain National Monument, sparking outrage among conservationists. (Los Angeles Times, June 18)

PG&E Ordered to Pay $4 Million for Camp Fire that Killed 84

PG&E Corp. was ordered to pay $4 million for its role in causing the 2018 fire that killed 84 people, a penalty the judge who imposed the sentence said didn’t fit the enormity of the crime. (Los Angeles Times, June 18)

Meet the New PG&E. It Looks a lot Like the Old PG&E

Pacific Gas & Electric Chief Executive Bill Johnson promised his company would emerge from bankruptcy a “reimagined utility.” But as PG&E prepares for life after Chapter 11 — a Bankruptcy Court judge filed a written decision Wednesday saying he would approve the company’s reorganization plan — it’s unclear there’s anything fundamentally different about the utility, which over the last decade has caused a deadly pipeline explosion, deadly fires and days-long power shut-offs affecting millions of people. (Los Angeles Times, June 18)

Families of California Wildfire Victims Slam PG&E for Crimes

The families of some of the 85 people killed by a horrific Northern California wildfire ignited by Pacific Gas & Electric’s long-neglected equipment vilified the company Wednesday as greedy, corrupt and reckless, telling heartbreaking stories of their loss in court. (Associated Press, June 18)

PG&E Becomes one of America’s Deadliest Corporate Criminals after Guilty Plea for Lethal Paradise Inferno

PG&E pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing 84 people during the devastating 2018 Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, a somber conclusion to a prosecution that showed the utility had failed to learn crucial lessons from the deadly San Bruno explosion and triggered the fatal wildfire. (San Jose Mercury, June 17)

California’s Gas Tax is Going Up Again. Amid Coronavirus, Some Say Now is Not the Time

California’s gas tax is set to increase July 1, but some lawmakers are calling for a freeze on the higher levy, citing the financial burden of the coronavirus-spawned recession on millions of the state’s residents. (Los Angeles Times, June 14)

PG&E Braces for a Hard Fire Season – and Blackouts – Amid Coronavirus

Wildfire season has arrived in California, and the company behind some of the state’s worst blazes is again preparing to take drastic measures to prevent more catastrophes — all while the whole state is simultaneously grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. (San Francisco Chronicle, June 13)

PG&E, Fire Victim Lawyers Reach Stock Deal in Bankruptcy Case

PG&E Corp. has agreed to provide more stock to pay wildfire victims as part of a deal that resolves one of the last hurdles in its waning bankruptcy case. (San Francisco Chronicle, June 13)


Private-equity-owned Chisholm Oil & Gas has become the latest shale driller to file for bankruptcy, pushed into chapter 11 by a decline in commodity prices and production challenges in Oklahoma. (Wall Street Journal, June 18)

FERC Asks Puerto Rico LNG Importer Why it Built Terminal without Agency Approval

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission demanded that the owner of a natural gas import terminal in Puerto Rico explain why it did not seek agency approval before building the infrastructure that is now in service at the Port of San Juan. (S&P Global, June 18)

Talen-Owned Gas Plants Enter Third Bankruptcy Since 2014

A pair of natural-gas-fired power plants owned by Talen Energy are going into chapter 11 protection for the third time since 2014, and the plan is to hand ownership to senior creditors owed nearly $555 million. (Wall Street Journal, June 18)

BP Prepares for a Future That Needs Less Oil

The energy giant said its oil and gas assets were worth less, a move reflecting broad changes in the industry. (New York Times, June 15)

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