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Pacific Gas & Electric Probation Ending Despite Concerns

Pacific Gas & Electric looks to emerge from years of criminal prosecution despite continued accusations of neglect and environmental damage, according to the Associated Press. The company spent the last five years on probation for its conviction in the explosion of its natural gas lines that killed eight people in 2010. Since then, PG&E has pleaded guilty for its involvement in several California wildfires that have killed over 100 people. The company's probation expires on Tuesday. The U.S. Attorney's office said it does not plan to seek an extension.

PG&E has said that it is fundamentally safer than it was in 2017 and defended its employees. The utility says it now spends $1.4 billion dollars removing high risk trees near its lines, although regulators point out that it has a backlog of trees from the past seven years. PG&E declared bankruptcy for the second time in the past 20 years during the probation. The utility committed to $13.5 billion for wildfire victims but may be unable to issue the amount promised. Prosecutors say that the company's officials have shown immaturity over the past decade and that one misstep can lead to "death and destruction.


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