In PG&E’s safety order institution investigation (OII), outgoing CPUC President Michael Picker (along with senior administrative law judge Peter Allen) has put on the table four dramatic proposals to address governance and incentive issues at the utility. These proposals are:
- Separating PG&E into separate gas and electric utilities or selling the gas assets;
- Establishing periodic review of PG&E’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CPCN);
- Modification or elimination of PG&E Corp.’s holding company structure; and
- Linking PG&E’s rate of return or return on equity to safety performance metrics.
The OII originally was opened to investigate PG&E’s management of its natural gas infrastructure, but the series of electricity-sparked wildfires reinfused the OII with a new direction. The proceeding has been a forum for various dramatic proposals on how to handle wildfire-related issues and PG&E’s subsequent bankruptcy filing.