Archive | Top Stories RSS feed for this section

The Buzz

14 Feb

State utility regulators begin reviewing wildfire risk management plans under which utilities would spend around $3 billion a year and launch new programs that would essentially become permanent. Pressure mounts on the California Public Utilities Commission to turn Pacific Gas & Electric into a wires only business and let community choice aggregators or other government […]

CCAs Ask CPUC to Restructure PG&E

14 Feb

The California Community Choice Association asked the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 14 to turn Pacific Gas & Electric into a wires-only business. Under its plan, community choice aggregators would purchase power needed to serve customers and take over transportation electrification, demand response, and energy efficiency programs from the utility too. “The joint CCAs strongly […]

CPUC Must Decide on $3B/Year of Utility Fire Protection Work

14 Feb

The staggering scope and cost of utility plans to prevent electric lines from sparking wildfires came into focus for regulators Feb. 13 during an all-day meeting. This year alone the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities plan to spend about $3 billion to minimize wildfire risks in areas with elevated threats. That’s projected to increase to […]

Energy Cyber Security Advances, Lawmakers Told

14 Feb

A key U.S. Senate committee took a deep dive into the state of cyber security in the nation’s energy industry this week as increasing digitalization and automation open the nation’s power grid and pipelines to vulnerabilities. “While advances in technology are always welcome and can help us run things more efficiently,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski […]

Climate Roundup: National Carbon Emissions Dip

13 Feb

Transportation nudged out electricity production as the nation’s leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest tally of carbon emissions. Transportation sources emitted 1,794 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, or about 28 percent of the total. Meanwhile, there were 1,734 million tons from the electric power industry, […]

Newsom Awaits State Plan on PG&E’s Bankruptcy

12 Feb

Gov. Gavin Newsom intends to have a plan for dealing with Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy within 60 days. “We are all frustrated and angry that it’s come to this,” Newsom told lawmakers Feb. 12 in his State of the State Address. “PG&E didn’t do enough to secure dangerous equipment or plan for the future.” […]

Juice: Green Dealing

12 Feb

The Green New Deal Resolution by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) seeks to beat California’s clean energy standard by 15 years. When comparing the two, there’s a slim to no chance it will be able to do that. The new federal proposal seeks to create socially just and emissions-free electricity, transportation, […]

LA Mayor Nixes LADWP Gas Plant Rebuilds

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Feb. 12 announced that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power will forgo rebuilding three aging gas-fired coastal power plants. Instead, they will be replaced with renewable energy. “This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” said Garcetti. “The climate crisis […]

Gas Supply Crimps Stress Southern California

11 Feb

Cold weather in Southern California is continuing to stress natural gas supplies, resulting in gas withdrawals by SoCal Gas from its constrained Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. The utility notified the California Public Utilities Commission that it had to withdraw gas from the field beginning at 11:22 p.m. on Feb. 10 as temperatures dipped […]

Shorts

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Sempra Energy is selling its remaining wind power plants to American Electric Power for $551 million in cash, the San Diego-based company said Feb. 12. Under the agreement, it will sell wind projects in Hawaii and east of the Rockies with 724 MW of combined capacity. The deal is subject to regulatory […]

The Buzz

7 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric propose strengthening their wildfire risk reduction programs.  SDG&E’s plan is not as dense as the other two mitigation blueprints because it put in place many safety measures after devastating wildfires more than a decade ago. Bankrupt PG&E’s plan stands out. That includes […]

So Cal Utilities File Wildfire Risk Reduction Plans

7 Feb

Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric submitted new proposals for beefing up safety measures to the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 6. Pacific Gas & Electric also filed its wildfire safety plan the same afternoon. The measures in the 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Plans range from significantly increasing inspections of lines and other […]

PG&E Files Wildfire Safety Plan, Warns Bankruptcy Could Interfere

7 Feb

The private utilities Feb. 6 filed their mandated plans for reducing wildfire threats from electric equipment. The plans filed by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric at the California Public Utilities Commission are required under last year’s wildfire risk reduction legislation, SB 901. Much of the focus is […]

CAISO Improves Interconnection Process

7 Feb

The California Independent System Operator Board Feb. 7 approved changes that aim to reduce the interconnection barriers generation and storage projects face. There are 288 active generation and storage projects in CAISO’s interconnection queue. The latest policy changes seek “to smooth the process for getting these projects online,” according to the grid operator.  The enhancements […]

House Climate Change Hearing Calls for Action

7 Feb

A newly configured House Energy & Commerce Committee held its first hearing on the environmental and economic impacts of climate change Feb.6. “We need to modernize and upgrade our infrastructure to ensure vital services like water, sewer, electricity, telecommunications, and transportation are more resilient,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Energy & Commerce Committee chair, during […]

Bankruptcy Watch: $1.5 B in PG&E Loans Okayed

6 Feb

The federal bankruptcy court gave Pacific Gas & Electric permission to tap into $1.5 billion in loans to fund utility operations for 13 weeks on Feb. 1. It is part of a larger $5.5 billion financing package PG&E lined up in late January with a series of big banks, including JPMorgan, Chase Bank, Bank of […]

Undercurrents: CEC Chair Says Adieu

6 Feb

Updated Feb. 6. Bob Weisenmiller, California Energy Commission chair, will leave his post Feb. 21. “This position has allowed me to preside over transformative policies aimed at addressing some of California’s key energy challenges, including the threat of climate change,” he stated Feb 6. Weisenmiller, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, has served as […]

PG&E’S 2018 Lobbying Budget Soared

6 Feb

In the midst of the intense legislative maneuverings last summer, Pacific Gas & Electric spent more than $6 million on lobbying lawmakers and another $168,000 pushing its agenda at the California Public Utilities Commission. The utility spent the money during the third quarter of 2018, according to the utility’s Secretary of State filings. For all […]

Shorts

5 Feb

Updated Feb. 6 Federal legislation to repeal the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles was introduced Feb. 6. It also would require that EV drivers pay into the Highway Trust Fund.  The “Fairness for Every Driver Act” was introduced by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works chair, and […]

Juice: Can CCAs Build a Resilient Energy System?

5 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy is forcing California energy policymakers to grapple with the future of the energy utility business model. PG&E’s massive $30 billion liability for wildfires has led the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate how the utility might be broken up into smaller units that could avoid electric lines sparking fires and […]