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House Panel Weighs How to Cut Transportation Emissions

24 Oct

Slashing emissions from ports, trucks and jets requires federal policy changes and financial assistance, lawmakers were told during an Oct. 23 House Environment & Climate Change Subcommittee hearing. The Wednesday hearing examined how these sources of greenhouse gases can be cleaned up to help the U.S. achieve a carbon lite economy by 2050. “Fast, efficient […]

Federal Alternative Energy Bills Advance

25 Sep

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Sept. 25 forwarded to the U.S. Senate legislation focused on energy storage, energy efficiency, and industrial emissions reductions. The measures “can serve as the bipartisan pillars of a robust energy package centered on innovation and efficiency,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), Committee chair. Among the measures advanced […]

The Buzz

19 Sep

Trump’s claim that California’s Clean Air Act waiver is preempted by federal law drives state air regulators to look at other ways to slash climate pollution from the transportation sector. Two Republican federal energy regulators approve a proposal to alter the 40-year old law protecting small renewable projects and co-generation. The dissenting Democratic commissioner says […]

ARB Seeks Emissions Cuts Elsewhere, w/ CA Waiver Revoked

19 Sep

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration yanked California’s ability to set vehicle emission standards tighter than federal ones, as promised. The Sept. 18 revocation of the state’s waiver authority under the federal Clean Air Act also undermines California’s zero emissions vehicle program, further undermining its climate protection work. Mary […]

Grappling with Industrial Decarbonization

19 Sep

How to drive down industrial greenhouse gas emissions to reach a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050 was the daunting task debated at a Sept. 18 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. “Transforming our economy to one that is 100 percent clean will be tough and will take significant resources and ingenuity, but it […]

Vanishing Renewable Premium

16 Sep

The green premium has disappeared in Texas and the same will happen in California and elsewhere By Fereidoon Sioshansi Environmentally conscious consumers traditionally had to pay a premium to get clean kilowatt/hours. They’ve been typically offered as a “premium” product by the suppliers: the higher the renewable content, the greener the electrons and higher the […]

The Buzz

13 Sep

The California Public Utilities Commission votes to increase PG&E’s gas transmission and storage revenue this year to $1.3 billion, with even bigger raises the next couple of years. State energy regulators direct $100 million in unspent clean energy incentives to low-income ratepayers and critical services providers for energy storage installations in areas with high wildfire […]

Trump Moves to Roll Back Methane Controls

29 Aug

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others blasted President Donald Trump for weakening rules to control leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. California’s senator called the proposed rollback, “incredibly irresponsible and wrong.”  Feinstein said she plans to challenge the move in the courts or with a Congressional resolution. As expected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced […]

Ensuring Equity is Part of Decarbonization Work

28 Aug

As energy agencies and stakeholders debate how best to slash and eventually eliminate carbon emissions from buildings a key concern is equity. Specifically at issue is protecting and ensuring that low-income, polluted communities reap gains from funded programs. “As we move away from combustion to reach important public environmental health goals, we have to make […]

Setting a Single Metric for Energy Savings & Decarbonization

28 Aug

Pressure is mounting for energy policy makers to meld building decarbonization and energy efficiency programs and funding to ensure California reaches a zero carbon energy sector by 2045. Part and parcel of that considerable challenge for the California Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission is whether to substitute a single emissions reduction metric in place […]

The Buzz

3 Jul

Expected legislation incorporating the Governor’s wish list for a catastrophic wildfire recovery fund to bail out private utilities facing big liabilities is to get its first airing July 5. The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approves bills shifting the cost of supply shortages to energy providers that fall short  and increasing the efficiency of […]

Bills to Green & Save on Energy Advance

2 Jul

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee July 2 approved bills to require load serving entities to pick up the tab for system costs caused by their supply shortages, increase the efficiency of cool roofs and require energy regulators to reveal energy providers’ rates and portfolios. AB 1584 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) would require […]

CEC Okays $70 M in Grants & Contracts

12 Jun

The California Energy Commission on a series of 3-0 votes approved nearly $60 million in grants for alternative energy projects, including battery, bioenergy, food production energy efficiency and photovoltaic installations on farms. Almost another $10 million in clean energy project agreements also got the green light. The grants approved during the CEC’s June 12 meeting […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Ratepayer Advocates Fail to Get Official Status

28 May

Updated May 29 The federal bankruptcy court judge handling Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy case rejected creating a formal ratepayer committee. If  approved, it would have required the utility to pay the committee’s legal tab. “Wall Street bankers will be calling the shots, demanding a ratepayer bailout to keep PG&E profitable,” Mark Toney, The Utility […]

FERC Reiterates Support for Storage, Sees Solid Summer Supply in CA

16 May

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a 3-1 vote cast May 16 denied a rehearing request of its orders seeking to advance participation of energy storage technologies in wholesale power markets. The orders included prohibiting states from not feeding their storage resources into the wholesale market. “Energy storage,” said Neil Chatterjee, FERC chair, “has the […]

Undercurrents: CA AG Backs Climate Change Suit Against Oil Firms

20 Mar

Updated March 21. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is supporting the City and County of San Francisco and City of Oakland’s lawsuit before the Ninth District Court of Appeals against the oil majors for their products’ emissions and resulting contribution to sea level rise. “Companies that reap the benefits of fossil fuels intensify the effects […]

The Buzz

7 Mar

House Dems blast the Department of Energy’s foot dragging on efficiency standard implementation while Republicans point elsewhere. Both sides agree, however, that saving energy is a good thing. State lawmakers, regulators, other power providers and generators agree that ensuring the energy caterpillar becomes a butterfly requires that decarbonization of the energy sector be affordable and […]

Inside the Beltway: Green Jobs & Carbon Capture

26 Feb

Updated Feb. 27. It was the yin and the yang in Congress Feb. 27 as a committee of the Republican-controlled Senate held a hearing on carbon capture and sequestration and a panel in the Democratically-dominated House focused on green collar renewable energy jobs. The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee held a hearing on the […]

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 […]

Shorts

3 Jan

The Department of Water Resources’ first snow survey of the new year revealed the water content of the snow is 80 percent of average at the standard measuring location, Phillips Station. The Jan. 3 survey recorded 25.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 9 inches. The Sierra snowpack is 67 percent […]