The California State Senate on Sept. 4 passed a resolution outlining its expectations for Pacific Gas & Electric's eventual exit from bankruptcy, including a provision that asks that contracts related to state environmental targets or reliability remain in place.

The resolution, introduced by Assm. Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) and co-authored by 21 other lawmakers, passed the floor with a 38-1 vote. It expressed the Legislature's will that the California Public Utilities Commission prioritize the safety and reliability of electric and gas service, ensure that rates remain reasonable, and honor energy contracts that contribute to California's environmental mandates or ensure safety and reliability.

"PG&E's bankruptcy is having a ripple effect that impacts everyone across the state," Holden said in a written statement, adding that the company's financial outcome must prioritize victims and ratepayers without harming California's safety, reliability and climate goals.

In addition, the resolution states that the outcome of PG&E's bankruptcy must address the threat of climate change and the poor condition of electrical infrastructure, both of which have contributed to the state's wildfire problem; resolve claims filed by Northern California wildfire victims; continue compensation to rank-and-file utility employees; base executive compensation on safety laws; and revamp the company's boards to include safety, clean-energy and regulatory experts.

"Our wildfire issues are not going away, which is why we must lay out our foundation of principles in order to effectively and prudently guide decisions related to PG&E and its future," Holden said.

Kavya Balaraman covers the California Public Utilities Commission and PG&E Corp. for California Energy Markets. She has reported on climate policy and science in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Columbia University's Graduate of Journalism.