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The Buzz

17 Jan

State energy agencies are delving into natural gas and electricity price spikes in Southern California. One major SoCal Gas supply pipeline remains out of service after it burst in 2017, while two other major utility pipelines are operating at reduced capacity due to age deterioration. Lawmakers and the governor are not rushing to any conclusions […]

Undercurrents: No Rush in Sacramento on PG&E

16 Jan

Keeping the lights on and making sure wildfire victims and utility ratepayers are treated fairly as the state’s largest utility enters bankruptcy are the stated priorities of Gov. Gavin Newsom and key state legislators. “Everyone’s immediate focus is, rightfully, on ensuring Californians have continuous, reliable and safe electric and gas service,” Newsom stated early this […]

Shorts

15 Jan

The Department of Interior directed furloughed staff to work on oil and gas leases on federal lands without pay on the 26th day of the federal government’s shutdown. “National parks, museums, and federal offices are closed throughout the nation due to the President’s ongoing shutdown,” Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) noted Jan. 16. “But if you […]

JUICE: PG&E’s Past Bankruptcy as Prologue

14 Jan

Pacific Gas & Electric is heading to bankruptcy court again to deal with overwhelming financial and legal liability. The liability it’s facing from the massive wildfires in 2017 and 2018 dwarfs the debt it struggled with during 2000-01 energy crisis when it faced huge spikes in merchant generator and wholesale power prices. And, unlike during […]

The Buzz

10 Jan

State energy regulators unanimously move to begin developing a framework for determining how much of private utilities’ fire liability costs should be paid by ratepayers. The vote comes amidst ongoing protests by those outraged by the death and destruction caused by wildfires both sparked and possibly sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric. The California Public […]

CPUC Approves $50 Million Energy Efficiency Program Renewal

10 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 10 voted 4-0 for a $52 million extension of the contract with the company that implements the utilities’ marketing and outreach portion of Energy Upgrade California. The program provides small businesses and homeowners with information tools and contacts to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and offices. It […]

CPUC Launches Rulemaking to Protect Grid & Backs Edison Cost Recovery

10 Jan

The state energy commissioners this week adopted a new rulemaking to reduce physical risks to utility equipment, including the shooting up utility transmission towers and other acts of human sabotage to infrastructure. It directs the utilities to identify at-risk facilities. It also orders them to implement a six-step mitigation plan developed by the North America […]

Undercurrents: PG&E is up Against a Liability & Ratings Wall

8 Jan

With Pacific Gas & Electric facing ever growing liability for the last two years of devastating fires, all bets are off as to what it will do to stay afloat. Among the options on the table is a possible sale of its natural gas division. According to an NPR news report Jan. 7, this proposal […]

The Buzz

4 Jan

With the New Year comes the sad news of the death of Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner, and former chair, Kevin McIntyre. The exit fee slapped on former PG&E customers is estimated to add $100 million. But, the exact tab for community choice customers should be known at the end of next week. CA’s Attorney General […]

Court Reviewing PG&E’s Federal Probation Status

3 Jan

Without passing judgment on Pacific Gas & Electric, the state attorney general laid out the legal requirements necessary to charge PG&E with misdemeanors or felonies if shabby operation and/or maintenance of its facilities sparked this year’s deadly Camp Fire in Butte County. The opinion by the Attorney General Xavier Becerra is a five-page legal primer […]

Big Bucks Hinge on Upcoming PG&E Exit Fees

2 Jan

How much Pacific Gas & Electric competitors will pay for the higher exit fee approved by state energy regulators last fall should be clearer at the end of next week. Big numbers are in play. Just how much of a hit there is on community choice aggregators’ customers this year from the higher Power Charge […]

PG&E Seeks Hefty Revenue Increase

17 Dec

A day before Pacific Gas & Electric was charged with falsifying gas pipeline markings and associated records over a five-year period, it asked energy regulators to increase its authorized revenue by almost $2 billion, or about 23 percent, in its upcoming three-year rate case. In its Dec. 13 general rate case filing, the utility requested […]

Regulators Charge PG&E with Bogus Gas Pipeline Markings

17 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric is in hot water again. A California Public Utilities Commission report found it both failed to properly mark its gas lines to prevent dangerous excavations and falsified its records. The fake records and inaccurate markings allegations cover the years 2012 to 2017. “Utility falsification of safety related records is a serious […]

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 […]

Power Demand Growth to Remain Tempered, CEC Says

6 Dec

Power demand through 2030 may be a bit lower than what the California Energy Commission projected in an official 2017 forecast adopted earlier this year due to lower economic growth. Commission staff outlined the new, lower preliminary projection at a workshop held Dec. 6 as part of the agency’s 2018 demand forecast update. “Our forecasting […]

State Energy Buyer Bill Introduced; One to Thwart Utility Bankruptcies is a No Show

4 Dec

A key state lawmaker Dec. 3 held off on introducing legislation to keep California’s investor-owned utilities from being driven into bankruptcy by billions of dollars in potential wildfire liability claims. Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) said he had planned to introduce the measure on Monday when new lawmakers were sworn in. Holden, who chairs the Assembly […]

CPUC Approves Safety Report after Vigorous Anti-PG&E Protest

29 Nov

State energy regulators were overwhelmed by demands and screams to not bail out Pacific Gas & Electric at their Nov. 29 meeting. Protestors insisted that PG&E be allowed to go bankrupt and that the state should take over its electricity and gas business. After a long line of public speakers slammed PG&E and the California […]

PG&E Outlines Reason for Not Turning Off Power

28 Nov

Pacific Gas & Electric decided not to shut off power in Butte County and other areas of its service territory on Nov. 8 after the start of the state’s most destructive blaze in history, the Camp Fire. By around 1 p.m. on Nov. 8, the high winds in the area had decreased. Thus, the utility […]

JUICE: The Long Shadow of the Energy Crisis

27 Nov

Massive utility liability from the recent devastating wildfires potentially sparked by electric lines puts the companies, politicians, regulators and ratepayers between a rock and a hard place. California regulators and lawmakers are working to keep Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison from being financially overwhelmed by claims resulting from the tragic toll on […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Faces First of Legal Claims for Camp Fire

20 Nov

While the massive Camp Fire in Butte County still smoldered, a class action lawsuit was filed by nearly two dozen residents of Paradise against Pacific Gas & Electric and its parent corporation over utility equipment allegedly sparking the conflagration. The suit was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court Nov. 16. The day the fire […]