Articles by David R. Baker and Mark Chediak

How Everybody Ends Up Paying for Climate Crisis

Fallout from last month’s deadly deep freeze in Texas has quietly spread to people living hundreds of miles away. Minnesota utilities have warned that monthly heating bills could spike by $400, after the crisis jacked up natural gas prices across …

Climate-Friendly Battery Boom Presents Growing Fire Safety Challenge

The explosion ruptured the dusk settling over the desert in Surprise, Arizona. For hours, smoke had poured from a metal shed packed with lithium-ion batteries at a small electric substation. The batteries were tied to the electric grid, and somehow …

California and PG&E Reach $1.7B Deal on Wildfire Penalties

California utility regulators have reached a settlement with PG&E Corp. over violations tied to catastrophic wildfires ignited by the company’s power lines in 2017 and 2018. The proposed settlement would prevent PG&E from recovering $1.625 billion in wildfire-related costs from …

PG&E Power Shutoffs Hit 2.7M as California Wildfires Burn

Mass power shutoffs by PG&E Corp. left more than 2.7 million Californians in the dark Sunday, the state’s largest deliberate blackout ever, as the bankrupt utility tries to keep its equipment from igniting wildfires during the strongest wind storm in …

California Braces for Biggest Blackout Yet as Massive Wildfire Burns

As wildfires rage and utilities race to restore power, the worst may be yet to come for California residents. PG&E Corp. has restored power to about 165,000 customers in portions of 18 counties, or about 93% of those affected, the …

500K-Plus Californians Lose Power; Large Wildfire Rages

More than half a million people have lost power across California as part of a deliberate blackout designed to keep power lines from igniting wildfires. Meanwhile, a major blaze has already erupted. PG&E Corp. and other utilities have cut service …

Thousands of Californians Face Power Shutoffs Due to Wildfire Risk

California utilities are warning that they may shut off electricity to thousands of customers across the state as hot, dry and windy weather raises the risk of another catastrophic wildfire sparked by a power line. PG&E Corp., forced into bankruptcy …

Southeast States Push Industry Over Cleanup of Toxic Coal Ash Ponds

It’s the other dirty problem for U.S. coal — one that could cost utilities billions to clean up. Even as the Trump administration tries to revive the industry, some states are pushing utilities including Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Energy …

Another California Utility One Wildfire Away From Ruin

The warning couldn’t have been clearer. As PG&E Corp. plunged into bankruptcy last month, S&P Global Ratings slashed credit grades almost to junk status for California’s two other big electric utilities, owned by Sempra Energy and Edison International, and said …

PG&E Contains California Gas Leak That Caused Major Explosion

PG&E Corp. has contained a natural gas leak from a pipe that exploded on Wednesday along a major thoroughfare in San Francisco, engulfing in flames a stretch known for its bars and restaurants. The blaze, which had spread to at …