The Latest: US judge scolds PG&E in hearing over wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO — The Latest on a court hearing on a U.S. judge’s proposals to try to prevent Pacific Gas & Electric Co. equipment from causing more wildfires (all times local):10:55 a.m.A U.S. judge is berating Pacific Gas & Electric Co. at a hearing to determine whether he should order the company to take major steps to try to prevent more wildfires.Judge William Alsup in San Francisco told attorneys for the company Wednesday that safety was not PG&E’s No. 1 priority and the company could have spent more money to trim trees to prevent wildfires.Alsup is overseeing a criminal conviction against PG&E on pipeline safety charges stemming from a deadly gas line explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010.He previously proposed as part of PG&E’s probation that it remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines in high-wind conditions and shut off power at times when fire is a risk.An attorney for PG&E, Reid Shar, said the company was not offering platitudes when it said safety was its No. 1 goal.Wildfire damage has become a multibillion-dollar liability for the utility. The company filed for bankruptcy Tuesday in the face of hundreds of lawsuits from victims of wildfires.___8:30 p.m.Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will be back in a U.S. courtroom a day after filing for bankruptcy.The nation’s largest utility will try to convince a judge at a hearing Wednesday not to order dramatic steps aimed at preventing its equipment from causing more wildfires.U.S. Judge William Alsup is overseeing a criminal conviction against PG&E on pipeline safety charges stemming from a deadly gas line explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010.He proposed earlier this month as part of its probation that PG&E remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines in high-wind conditions and shut off power at certain times. PG&E shot back in a court filing that the judge’s proposals would endanger lives and could cost as much as $150 billion.The Associated Press

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