The Buzz

9 May 2019

Lawmakers may need to create a $40 billion wildfire risk pooled insurance fund plus take other actions to deal with crushing wildfire liabilities and expenses faced by utilities as large power rate increases loom.

Amid rising revenue, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes budget boosts for the CPUC and grants to help communities plan for power shutoffs when high winds threaten to spark wildfires.

Meanwhile, utilities launch a new advertising campaign as they warn that power shutoffs when winds threaten wildfires will become routine.

In Washington, Democrats declare President Trump’s proposed 2020 budget for the Department of Energy is “dead on arrival” due to its massive proposed cuts in clean energy and energy efficiency programs.

Generators make money in the first quarter of this year, some after long periods of losses. Meanwhile, Sempra Energy sees rising profits, including at its regulated utilities in California.

This week’s Juice column argues that CalRecyle’s plan to require composting of yard and food waste may not cut greenhouse gas emissions as much as thought due to the increased use of trucks to haul the material. Renewable natural gas can help, but at what cost, the column wonders.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti seeks to best the state on clean energy with his own green new deal plan.

Not surprisingly, the California Public Utilities Commission finds in a report to the Legislature that renewable energy continues to grow as its price falls.

—The Editors

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