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House Hearing Contrasts State Climate Action & Fed Inaction

2 Apr

Updated April 4 State clean energy laws and policies, from renewable energy mandates to electric vehicles, along with community climate protection initiatives, were touted for increasing environmental and economic health during an April 2 hearing in the House Energy & Commerce Committee. A light was shined on these policies and practices also to put the […]

U.S. Senate Panel Focuses on Emissions & the Grid

5 Mar

Climate change’s impact on the nation’s electric system and the need for more clean and reliable energy were in the spotlight during a bipartisan committee hearing this week in Washington, D.C. “The electricity sector is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to climate change, but it is perhaps the most visible and […]

Undercurrents: AG Backs Oakland’s Rejection of Coal Terminal

18 Dec

The City of Oakland’s appeal to defend its ordinance prohibiting storage and shipment of coal to and from a proposed port expansion won the backing of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra this week. “The transportation of coal from the terminal would disproportionately hurt communities of color already burdened by pollution and its consequent health effects, […]

Climate Roundup: E-Bike Delivery & West VA Coal

17 Dec

California’s public transit systems will gradually move to using electric- and fuel-cell- powered buses by 2040 under a rule the California Air Resources Board adopted Dec. 14. The regulation will eliminate almost 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year by the time it’s fully implemented, according to Air Board data. Smog-forming nitrogen oxide […]

Climate Roundup: Power Industry Emissions Drop Dramatically

10 Dec

Cleaner power production across the U.S. since 2010 has cut the yearly toll of health and environmental damage from making electricity from $245 billion to $133 billion. Most of the benefits of cleaner power production are enjoyed in eastern states, like West Virginia. The east has seen a reduction in reliance on coal power, as […]

Shorts

5 Dec

Updated Dec. 6. The U.S. Senate Dec. 6 confirmed Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a 50-49 vote. McNamee’s nomination was controversial because of the role he played while at the U.S. Department of Energy, specifically entailing its proposal that FERC order subsidies for coal and nuclear power plants. McNamee “needs to […]

Undercurrents: LADWP Aims for 55% Renewables

27 Nov

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board Nov. 27 approved forwarding the muni’s 2017 integrated resource plan to the California Energy Commission to satisfy the legislatively required 50 percent renewable standard by 2030. The plan, which is required to show how LADWP plans to meet SB 350’s 50 percent renewable energy mandate by […]

McNamee on Senate Hot Seat over Coal & Nuke Bailout Plan

15 Nov

President Donald Trump’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee from Texas faced heavy criticism for not agreeing to recuse himself from decisions related to potentially subsidizing struggling coal and nuclear plants if he is confirmed for a commission seat. As the Department of Energy Policy Office Director, Bernard McNamee worked closely with Energy Secretary Rick Perry […]

Trump Administration in Energy Hot Seat

8 Nov

When the new Congress convenes in January, the Trump Administration will face increased heat from the House over its pro-fossil fuel policies and attempts to rollback climate change rules and other environmental regulations. That’s the word from the likely new chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the key panel that oversees federal energy […]

Undercurrents: Solar Gets Thumbs Up, Gas & Coal a Thumbs Down

6 Nov

EDF Renewable’s proposed 500 MW photovoltaic project slated for public land in the desert of Riverside County was approved by the Bureau of Land Management. “The Palen Solar Project will provide benefits to the local community and the region both now and in the future, demonstrating the critical role multiple-use public lands play for the […]

NRDC Holds Out Climate Hope

24 Oct

In spite of the dire predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of climate disaster if the world fails to curb global emissions within 12 years, progress made to date is cause for optimism, according to a NRDC report released  Oct. 24. The growth on the clean energy front offers “a serious ray of […]

CCA’s Hit High Renewable Level

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 30 with corrections. The original article mistakenly equated the 2016 power content labels filed at the California Energy Commission with renewable energy portfolio standard compliance levels. (See the bottom of the article for further explanation.*)   All of California’s community choice energy programs far exceeded California’s 25 percent average renewable power level in […]

Climate Roundup: ESPs Fall Short on Renewables

16 Oct

A new law raises the cap on direct access providers by 4,000 GWh, or up to 15 percent of total retail load. However, the bulk of the energy service providers who make power deals with commercial and industrial energy users get failing grades on their renewable portfolio standard compliance. Direct access companies are required to […]

Climate Roundup: SMUD Back$ All Electric Homes

10 Oct

A major municipal utility and homebuilder announced Oct. 10 that all electric homes are now for sale in a new housing tract in the Sacramento area. The 104 homes will help cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which incentivized the D.R. Horton-built homes in North Natomas. SMUD provided $466,000 of […]

The Buzz

4 Oct

California’s big three investor-owned energy utilities are hit with credit downgrades. Their borrowing pains would be a lot higher but for enactment of SB 901. In spite of all the pro-electric vehicle effort and rhetoric in the state, the California Energy Commission slashes its spending plan for its Alternative & Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology […]

Undercurrents: Exit Fee Proposal Bashed by Mayors

4 Sep

Updated Sept. 6. The mayors of major Bay Area cities Sept. 3 protested a proposal by the California Public Utilities Commission released last month that would raise exits fees for community choice aggregators. San Francisco Mayor London Breed, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the tentative decision by Commissioner Carla […]

EPA Rolls Out Clean Power Plan Replacement

21 Aug

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Aug. 21 proposed replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which is aimed at cutting the power industry’s greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent, with the so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule. The new proposed rule “would restore the rule of law and empower states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide modern, […]

Undercurrents: Dems Slam FERC Chair for Pushing Price Supports

21 Aug

Updated Aug. 22 The head federal energy regulator was blasted for allowing his top staffer to state during a nuclear energy conference that his agency was working with the Trump Administration to ensure nuclear and coal power is subsidized under the controversial “fuel resiliency” theory. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Natural Resources Committee ranking member, and […]

Undercurrents

14 Aug

In the wake of the departure of Robert Powelson from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, President Donald Trump has signaled he may nominate Bernard McNamee, head of the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, to fill the vacancy. McNamee was involved in developing a Department of Energy proposed rule calling for out-of-market payments to coal […]

JUICE: Gridding Our Teeth

17 Jul

As the deadline for voting on legislation to allow California’s grid to become a regional entity gets closer, debate rages on as to whether it would be a boom or bust. A report released July 17, favoring removing barriers to establishing a Western Independent System Operator, warns of the inherent complexities of the legislation, AB […]