The Buzz

30 Jun 2017

Fireworks will have to wait until next week’s holiday as there were barely sparklers at the California Public Utilities Commission this week.

Regulators okayed moving to revise or redo the unpopular charge on community choice aggregators said to spread out the cost of utility ratepayer departures. Some sparks were generated by the CPUC’s approval of a higher state supply cushion and increased local capacity needs for 2018. The latest resource adequacy decision raises difficult issues, including its focus on the outmoded baseload system instead of a greener and cleaner surge in resources.

Baseload also is considered a dud by some. Flexibility should trump baseload, according to a new report by the NRDC

The California Supremes’ rejection of the ongoing challenge to the state carbon cap-and-trade was cause for celebration. The program’s legitimacy is officially intact until 2020, easing the governor’s job to get it extended another decade.

While Bay Area air regulators announced they were going to cap oil refineries’ greenhouse gases, there was no launch of that Roman Candle. Juice points out Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing a different kind of display, one in which he is joining with the nation that developed fireworks. Together California and China are advancing a fossil lite world.

Generating some pops was the announcement of the third nominee to the quorum-less Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

There was little fanfare over the energy agency budgets in the newly-inked state spending plan beginning July 1. The CPUC and Energy Commission got funding increases to meet statutory mandates. New money in the CPUC budget is included for better transparency and safety oversight. The Energy Commission gets new bucks for assuring compliance with efficiency and renewable standards.

Renewable gas was on display, but so too were its challenges, including costs.

—The Editors

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