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Shorts

25 Jul

The grid operator kicked off its annual budget process July 25, saying that its annual revenue requirement and the rates it charges for managing the grid will remain largely flat in 2018. The California Independent System Operator plans to present a draft budget to its board in October and after public comment and discussion ask […]

Carbon Trading Program to 2030 Is Official

25 Jul

On Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation to continue California’s carbon cap-and-trade program 10 years through 2030. The July 25 signing on the windy island, created by landfill, was at the same site where former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger 11 years earlier signed AB 32, California’s climate protection law. […]

The Buzz

21 Jul

The more things change, the more they don’t stay the same, Mike Picker, California’s head utility energy regulator tells a legislative panel. That includes the greening of the state’s energy supplies causing a flux in the grid, but with less impact than expected. In greater flux is the fate of the proposed Puente power plant […]

Agencies Give SoCal Gas Permission to Reopen Aliso Canyon

19 Jul

Two state agencies gave SoCal Gas authority to begin both injecting and withdrawing natural gas from the utility’s Aliso Canyon storage facility near Los Angeles July 19. The Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources and the California Public Utilities Commission gave the green light to resume operations at the facility on a scaled down […]

JUICE: Scaling CA’s Zero Carbon Summit

19 Jul

Politicians are to rope up next month and set the path for climbing to a 100 percent renewable/zero emissions energy peak under legislation proposed by the leader of California’s Senate. Investor-owned utilities and several public utilities warn about reliability and cost crevasses that may open beneath them on the trek under SB 100 by Senate […]

Legislation Sends Edison Penalty to Long Beach

19 Jul

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee July 18 passed a bill that would direct a $4 million penalty slapped on Southern California Edison for blackouts in Long Beach in 2015 to the city. SB 174 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) would keep the penalty issued by the California Public Utilities Commission from going […]

Cap & Trade Extension Soon to Become Law

18 Jul

The legislative package to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to 2030 was sent to the governor’s desk July 17 after both the Senate and Assembly passed the two bills with Republican support that enabled a two-thirds majority. AB 398 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) was approved on a 28-12 vote on the Senate Floor and […]

Cap & Trade Bill Passes Key Panel In Spite of Heavy Opposition

13 Jul

Three days after new legislation to extend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program another 10 years was introduced, the Senate Environmental Quality Committee passed it over objections by Republicans, environmental justice advocates and regional air regulators. The July 13 vote came after Gov. Jerry Brown, in a rare appearance of a sitting state chief executive before […]

100% Renewable Bill Sails Ahead

13 Jul

Legislation setting a 100 percent renewable standard by 2045 advanced this week in the Assembly. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee passed SB 100 by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León July 12 on a 10-4 vote. The next day on July 13, the bill also gained approval by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee […]

Revised Cap-&-Trade Bill Eases Overall Compliance

11 Jul

The newest bill to extend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program 10 years beyond 2020 eliminates regional air quality regulators’ authority to limit greenhouse gases from oil refineries and other major stationary emission sources, sets a ceiling but no floor on the price of tradable allowances and limits use of carbon offsets. The bill, AB 398 […]

Bills Approved Include Ones to Grow Renewable Baseload and EV Chargers

11 Jul

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee July 10 passed legislation to encourage the use of geothermal and biomass resources, automatically inform ratepayers of utility bill spikes, and expand ratepayer-funded installations of electric vehicle charging stations. AB 920 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) seeks to increase the use of baseload renewable resources as fossil fuel […]

The Buzz

30 Jun

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 […]

CPUC Adopts 2018 Supply Cushion & Reconsiders Community Energy Fee

29 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission June 29 approved 5-0 resource adequacy requirements and flexible capacity obligations for electric utilities in 2018. The decision rejected considering multi-year resource adequacy requirements requiring a 15 percent supply cushion on grounds it would have delayed a decision. Commissioner Liane Randolph, the presiding member, added, “We didn’t feel it was […]

CA Supreme Court Rejects Review of Cap-&-Trade

29 Jun

California’s carbon cap-and-trade program is bona fide until the end of the decade. The state Supreme Court June 28 denied two petitions to hear a legal challenge to the California Air Resources Board greenhouse gas emissions trading program. “Today’s decision helps clear the way for California to continue its ambitious, globally significant climate leadership, and […]

State Budget Augments Energy Agency Funding

29 Jun

The newly-signed state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 includes increases for the California Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission. Lawmakers pulled out the carbon cap-and-trade auction money from the California Air Resources Board and other state agencies. The allocation of the auction funds and extension of the carbon trading program another 10 […]

JUICE: The Art of Emissions Warfare

28 Jun

Bay Area air regulators last week backed away from fighting the oil lobby head on. They did not vote to cap regional oil refineries’ greenhouse gas emissions as promised. The move surely was in response to pressure from the governor who doesn’t want a direct confrontation with the powerful oil industry while pushing legislation to […]

Undercurrents: San Juan Capistrano Challenges the CPUC’s Approval of SDG&E Project

27 Jun

Editor’s Note: this article was updated June 29. The City of San Juan Capistrano filed suit against the California Public Utilities Commission for approving San Diego Gas & Electric’s South Orange County transmission upgrade project last December. The city claims the project, which would add $400 million to the ratebase, is not needed for reliability […]

Shorts

26 Jun

The California Air Resources Board amended its rules for reporting greenhouse gas emissions June 29. The board decided not to include the California Independent System Operator’s energy imbalance market in the rules. Instead, it said it will collect annual information on greenhouse gas emissions related to that market under a formal subpoena process. It made […]

The Buzz

22 Jun

Cap-less in San Francisco is this week’s key feature. Bay Area air regulators rejected approving a first-in-the-nation ceiling on regional oil refineries’ greenhouse gas emissions because it would allow a big increase in climate change pollution.  The proposed cap before the board was significantly revised the day before the June 21 meeting, resulting in a […]

Bill to Keep Utility Safety Funds on Track Advances

22 Jun

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee June 21 passed four small bills with little or no discussion, including one that aims to keep private utilities from diverting approved financial resources away from authorized safety work, including for pipelines. SB 595 by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) to prevent safety money diversions was approved on a 14-1 […]