SF makes PG&E an offer

The City government wants to buy PG&E’s San Francisco electrical transmission and distribution assets for $2.5 billion.

The offer was announced Sunday in a joint statement by Mayor London Breed and City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

The sale could help stabilize the utility, which announced bankruptcy protection filings in January, the San Francisco officials said.

They characterized the purchase as “competitive” and an idea “supported by an overwhelming majority” of San Franciscans, and the result of months of financial analysis by industry experts, city staff and advisors.

“It will offer financial stability for PG&E, while helping the City expand upon our efforts to provide reliable, safe, clean and affordable electricity to the residents and businesses of San Francisco,” Breed and Herrera said in a statement. “It also considers equity for PG&E’s remaining customers and the City’s responsibility for ongoing costs.”

Breed’s interest in an independent energy future stems as far back as her term on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, when she helped with final negotiations around planning for CleanPowerSF, The City’s effort to provide public power to San Franciscans as a PG&E alternative.

Whether PG&E will accept the offer remains unclear. The city has had a contentious relationship with the utility, with officials complaining that PG&E has delayed mulitiple public projects powered by energy generated from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Hetch Hetchy dam by making unreasonable demands for the use of its infrastruture.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Harlan L. Kelly Jr. issued a statement noting that “San Francisco has been in the community-owned power business for over 100 years, and we’re delivering cleaner, more affordable electricity to customers more than ever before.

“The City’s proposal delivers safe, reliable and clean power to new and existing customers at or below PG&E’s rates and without relying on the City’s general fund,” Kelly said.

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