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Climate Roundup: Focus on Consumption-Based GHG Accounting

23 May

A bill set for a Friday hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee would require California to take a broader approach to measuring greenhouse gas reductions. It would include the carbon content of the products Californians consume instead of just the emissions produced in the state. AB 2726 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-North Bay) passed the […]

Undercurrents

22 May

Recent decisions by federal energy regulators excluding consideration of the upstream and downstream greenhouse gas impacts of new gas pipelines raised alarm bells in and outside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. None of the permits are for projects in the Western U.S., but the decisions show the bias of a majority of the commissioners to […]

LADWP Budget Serves as Lightening Rod

22 May

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board May 22 adopted a $5.4 billion budget for the muni’s power system for fiscal year 2018-19. Approval, however, came amid controversy over the department’s future reliance on natural gas power, its comparatively meager emphasis on energy efficiency in rental housing, and its ongoing inability to systematically […]

Marin Clean Energy Lands “Stable” Credit Rating

22 May

Marin Clean Energy, California’s first community choice organization, is the first of the state’s community choice aggregators to receive a credit rating. Moody’s Investor Services assigned Marin Clean Energy a “stable” Baa2 rating. The rating solidifies its financial standing, including by lowering its borrowing costs. The first of its kind credit rating notes the strength […]

Juice: Start Small on Electric Truck Charging

22 May

As the Springsteen song goes: “From small things, mama, one day big things come.” The California Public Utilities Commission should take note and resist pressure to significantly increase utility investments in heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Despite calls to do so by clean air advocates and utility executives, it’s wise to take small steps towards […]

Shorts

20 May

Edison President Pedro Pizarro pledged to ramp up wildfire prevention steps last week. That includes cutting off power on transmission lines through fire prone areas when red flag warnings are in effect. Edison, he stated, is partnering with local agencies to evaluate various technologies to help with fire safety throughout Southern California. They include using […]

The Buzz

17 May

Utility regulators get big push back on a proposal authorizing the investor-owned electric utilities to spend almost $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Southern California Edison complains it has zippo financial appeal. Federal energy regulators order Pacific Gas & Electric to settle complaints over $500 million in alleged overcharges in last […]

Utilities Seek Max Return on EV Charging Program

17 May

Utility regulators came under heavy pressure this week to throw out a proposed decision authorizing California’s investor-owned electric utilities to spend some $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. During an all-parties meeting May 17, following the California Public Utilities Commission’s vote postponement on the proposal earlier this month, utilities complained it […]

FERC Orders PG&E Transmission Settlement

17 May

Federal energy regulators May 17 ordered Pacific Gas & Electric to reach a settlement with eight organizations that complained last year about the utility’s rates for transmitting power. At issue is more than $500 million of potential utility overcharges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the order without comment as part of its consent calendar […]

CAISO Limits Manual Forecast Adjustments

17 May

New record levels of solar energy are being set on a regular basis with the most recent one hitting 10,625 MW on May 7 at 12:22 p.m. Steve Berberich, California Independent System Operator chief executive officer, also told his board May 16 that peak wind power records continue to be set, but far less frequently. […]

Elephants & Donkeys Like Solar & Wind

16 May

A recent Pew Research Center poll of American attitudes on energy and the environment finds little difference in support for solar and wind energy among Republicans and Democrats compared to the gulf in their respective views on fossil fuel and nuclear power. Yet, there is a substantial difference of opinion on how to encourage renewable […]

Climate Roundup: Environmentalists Sue EPA on Car Mileage Standards

15 May

The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations joined the legal fray this week over the Trump Administration’s plans to weaken federal mileage standards for autos designed to cut greenhouse gases and encourage production of electric vehicles. The Sierra Club filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against the federal Environmental […]

Brown’s Budget Update Hikes Forest Fire Prevention Funds

15 May

Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised 2018-19 budget proposal released May 11 would allocate $1.25 billion in carbon cap-and- trade revenue to protect against climate change. Included is $256 million to reduce wildfire threats in the state, up from $220 million this fiscal year. Brown’s initial budget, released in January, included $160 million of cap-and-trade auction revenue […]

Undercurrents

15 May

Updated May 11 Community choice agencies take issue with the California Public Utilities Commission’s paper released two weeks ago that claims community energy, along with the proliferation of solar rooftops, could drive the state into another energy crisis. “It is an unfair characteristization,” Beth Vaughn. California Community Choice Association executive director, said during a May […]

JUICE: Timing

15 May

Timing is everything. Thus, it is noteworthy that it’s optimal timing to increase the amount of hydropower imports from the Bonneville Power Administration into California. This option has been talked about for a few years, but now the needles on California’s legal, policy and resources compasses point northwest. If the capacity of the lines carrying […]

Shorts

15 May

SoCal Gas showcased a new solar-powered hydrogen generation system May 17. It uses sunlight to convert natural gas and water into hydrogen and capture the carbon dioxide to prevent carbon emissions. The project is a partnership between SoCal Gas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the STARS Corp. The solar advanced reactor system “produces hydrogen through […]

Automakers Aim to Ease Tensions in Emissions War

14 May

Automakers may have eased tensions a bit last week between the Trump Administration and California over greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for new cars for model years 2022-2025. In a statement following a meeting between automakers and President Donald Trump at the White House May 11, the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers stated that […]

The Buzz

10 May

Utility regulators decide to take extra time to review a first of its kind spending plan by the state’s power utilities to help get electric vehicle chargers installed on a widespread basis for heavy-duty electric trucks and buses. They also delay action on an a pricey eight-year energy efficiency plan. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s […]

CPUC Delays Major Energy Efficiency & Electric Transportation Decisions

10 May

California utility regulators this week postponed acting on two major programs, one of which is aimed at accelerating a shift toward electric vehicles and the other at enhancing energy efficiency. The California Public Utilities Commission May 10 put off voting on a proposed decision to authorize the state’s three investor-owned electric utilities to spend $589 […]

FERC Transmission Planning Process Criticized

10 May

Lawmakers May 10 heard various ideas about how to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of transmission projects across the U.S. in response to a changing energy industry. Strategies ranged from shrinking to expanding the federal transmission planning process. Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Member Tony Clark said at a House Energy & Commerce […]