The Buzz

10 Aug 2018

A legislative conference committee working to address wildfire safety and liability standards for utilities faces major opposition. The big kahuna is who gets slammed with the multi-billion tab for harm from utility equipment-sparked blazes.

Major energy legislation to create a regionalized grid, move to 100 percent carbon-free power, and open up direct access to all non-residential electricity customers is delayed. Meanwhile, the countdown to the end of the legislative session gets shorter.

As promised, Pacific Gas & Electric posts major losses in its latest quarterly report, as does Sempra Energy, the parent of San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCal Gas. Luckily for Edison, its earnings remain largely level.

State and local public agencies close the book on the 2015 Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility disaster by entering a $120 million settlement with SoCal Gas. Hundreds of private suits remain in play, however. And, the utility’s tab for the massive well blow-out continues to grow.

After a long debate, utility regulators issue a proposal to revise the way they levy exit charges on power utility customers who join community choice energy programs.

In other action at the California Public Utilities Commission, regulators iron out some rate-related issues at Pacific Gas & Electric in the wake of an earlier decision on the utility’s general rate case.

CPUC regulators also adopt a new, better deal for ratepayers related to the costs of the premature closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. It’s outlined in this week’s Juice column, which also rounds up other significant actions while Current was on summer break.

It’s a  showdown on California’s electric vehicle standard as the state Air Resources Board moves quickly to get around a Trump Administration plan to freeze progress on cutting greenhouse gases from autos.

A final CPUC paper on customer choice in electricity makes no specific recommendations, but don’t worry because the commission says it’s working on yet another paper that will make specific suggestions.

—The Editors

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