WASHINGTON — Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is introducing legislation that would ban utilities under bankruptcy, like Pacific Gas and Electric Co., from paying out bonuses to executives, following a pledge by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, to convert PG&E to a government-owned company. The two efforts underscore growing frustration with PG&E in the wake of dangerous wildfires sparked by its equipment and preventive power outages in response that have at times left millions in California without electricity. The bill from Harris, reported first by The Chronicle, is set to be introduced on Wednesday. As justification for her effort to bar executives from bonuses, the California Democrat cited reporting by The Chronicle that revealed PG&E wined and dined gas employees days before planned power outages, and the company’s plan to pay $11 million in performance bonuses to its executives. A federal bankruptcy judge later denied the bonuses plan, though he did approve a payout to 10,000 employees. Harris’ legislation would prohibit a utility company undergoing bankruptcy proceedings from paying its executives bonuses, “golden parachute” severance packages or treating them to trips or other benefits. As penalty, any utility that did so would have to pay 100% tax on the compensation…. Read full this story
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