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California Cities Say Bill Harms Plans For Public Utilities

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – As Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. faces bankruptcy following billions of dollars in claims from catastrophic wildfires, some cities are exploring buying pieces of the utility’s assets to run parts of the power system on their own. But legislation meant to shore up California’s major utilities could make it harder for local governments to peel off pieces of PG&E for their own electric systems. The bill would task the California Public Utilities Commission with approving a government’s purchase of a power company’s assets and provide enhanced worker protections. Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener says that would undermine future efforts to create municipal electric utilities. Labor unions say the bill protects workers in an uncertain time for California’s electric companies. Gov. Gavin Newsom wants the bill passed by Friday.