Tag Archives: Camp Fire

PG&E Announces $13.5 Billion Settlement Of Claims Linked To California Wildfires

Seen in August 2019, the remains of a home destroyed in Northern California’s 2018 Camp Fire. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric announced a $13.5 billion settlement agreement to resolve all claims associated with several Northern California wildfires that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of businesses and homes. The wildfires have been tied to the company’s equipment.

“We want to help our customers, our neighbors and our friends in those impacted areas recover and rebuild after these tragic wildfires,” said PG&E Corp. CEO and President Bill Johnson in a statement released late Friday.

The settlement fund, if accepted by a bankruptcy judge, will go to victims who lost loved ones and/or property, as well as government agencies and attorneys who have pressed the claims.

PG&E declared bankruptcy in January, saying it faced potential liabilities of $30 billion. The company hopes that the settlement will improve its prospects for emerging from bankruptcy before a court-imposed deadline in June.

The settlement covers the Camp Fire in 2018; the Tubbs Fire in 2017; the Butte Fire in 2015; and the Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland in 2016.

Victims seeking compensation will have to file claims by the end of the year. The deadline had been extended because tens of thousands of eligible victims had failed to file amid reports that many were still unaware that they could seek payments.

Source: by Richard Gonzalez | NPR

Yet Another Unfunded Trillion Dollar Liability, California Wildfire Damage

( John Rubio-DollarCollapse) Yesterday an entire California town burned down. Paridise, CA has (had) 27,000 residents and over 1,000 buildings, and now it’s pretty much gone. A fire started nearby on a windy day and within hours everything was ash and cinders.

That fire and several others are still expanding across the state, threatening tens of thousands of homes. The sets of the TV show WestWorld are gone. Malibu has been evacuated. And dry, windy conditions persist, so the story is nowhere near over.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because massive, sometimes uncontrollable California wildfires are now an annual occurrence, due in part to gradual warming and persistent drought which combine to suck the moisture out of vegetation and turn the landscape into a tinderbox. Here’s a chart showing the recent take-off in the number of fires reported in the state (2013 was most recent year I could find, but the trend is clear – and since then the number of fires has apparently soared).

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/California-wild-fires.jpg?itok=0gvK61MZ

The reason this rates coverage in a financial blog is population. We’ve been moving millions of people into a place that has always had and always will have wildfires. California’s population is now about four times what it was in 1950, and the influx continues.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/California-population.jpg?itok=LGv98-Gl

Fire is a crucial part of that and many other ecosystems, clearing out dead plants to make room for living. But add 40 million humans along with their buildings and vehicles, and a healthy, resilient semi-desert becomes a hellscape.

A very expensive hellscape. What does it cost to rebuild a town of 27,000 people from scratch? A back-of-the-envelope calculation (1,000 buildings at $100,000 a pop, 15,000 cars at $25,000 per, $10,000 per person for roads, sewers, landscaping, etc) yields several hundred million dollars. For one little town.

Is California budgeting for this? Are the insurance companies? Is Washington? All probably say they are, but only the insurance companies actually are – and even they are probably under-reserved for the past few years’ natural disasters.

This is a massive public planning failure, and yet another unfunded liability – that is, a future cost incurred but not saved for – to go alongside public pensions, government debt and multiplying environmental time bombs.

The result: A future of unpleasant surprises, in which governments are constantly saying “Oops, there’s this huge new expense that no one could have foreseen, and we’re all going to have to tighten our belts to cover it, sorry about the bad roads and closed libraries” – or – “Oops, there’s a huge unforeseen expense and we’re going to have to create a trillion new dollars to cover it, sorry about the inflation.”

But isn’t this mostly a private sector issue, between homeowner and insurance company, you ask? In many cases that’s true. But insurance companies have to make a profit, which means homeowner policy premiums have to be high enough to cover expected losses. As the latter rise, so necessarily do the former. Which means the part of our cost of living that’s devoted to insurance will soar as a direct result of California’s asleep-at-the-switch population management policy.

Are California wildfires as big an unfunded liability as the one resulting from the Right Coast’s soaring Hurricane Alley population? Probably not, because fires, even big ones, are smaller than tropical storms. Still, it could easily exceed a trillion dollars (let’s see what today’s fires end up costing) which – hitting a state that’s already overburdened with unfunded pensions and crumbling infrastructure – will probably end up being added to the federal government’s balance sheet via some kind of bail-out.

All of which makes a currency reset that much more likely in the not too distant future. Paying off this mountain of debts, promises and “guaranteed surprises” with current dollars is mathematically impossible. But after a 70% devaluation the numbers might work.

Source: ZeroHedge

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SoCal Fire May Have Ejected “Incredibly Dangerous” Radioactive Particles Into The Atmosphere

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/teaser_desktop_2x/public/2018-11/DrxFk1kU4AEHvnA.jpg?h=b9a135cd&itok=cUcfW8S8
Nearby resident: “Every person on our street has had cancer

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California Utilities Implode, Lose A Third Of Their Value In 2 Days On Massive Fire Damages

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/teaser_desktop_2x/public/2018-11/cali%20utilities.jpg?h=3c579df2&itok=wz0WN69m

With the two giant wildfires in northern and southern California projected to result in $25 billion in damages, the shares of California’s two largest utility owners have crashed the most in nearly two decades.

 

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California Wildfires Set For $25 Billion In Damages As Death Toll Hits 31; Suspected Looters Arrested

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/35256ad1-7310-462b-9b95-e2c772771d7a.jpg?itok=e8K5JwZm

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California Wildfires: Cars Filled with Dead Bodies – Burnt Skeletons

https://i0.wp.com/halturnerradioshow.com/images/Nov-2018/CaliforniaWildfire-CarsFilledWithSkeletons.jpg?w=731

Fire Swept Through Santa Susana Nuclear Testing Site In California