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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 […]

Gov.’s Budget Revise Eyes More for CPUC & Low Carbon Programs

9 May

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “May revise” of his fiscal 2019-20 budget will boost money for the California Public Utilities Commission and also expenditures of cap-and-trade funds for affordable housing, sustainability and resiliency priorities. The proposed increases come amid rising state revenue. “The California Dream must be built on a strong fiscal foundation,” said Newsom May 9. […]

Climate Roundup: Garcetti Outlines LA New Green Deal

6 May

Updated May 8. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s green new deal program sets the bar for environmental improvement and green economic development for the state’s largest city far higher than existing state targets. By 2050, Garcetti wants a zero carbon economy, with no emissions from the grid, transportation, or buildings. The plan, introduced last week, […]

Undercurrents: Newsom Eyes New CPUC President

12 Mar

Updated March 14. Gov. Gavin Newsom is planning to shake up the California Public Utilities Commission, including appointing a new president of the commission, the Wall St. Journal reported March 11. A plan could be issued by the governor’s office in a matter of weeks, Newsom reportedly told legislators and analysts from S&P Global Ratings. […]

The Buzz

21 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission approves Pacific Gas & Electric’s and Southern California Edison’s $7 billion in energy purchase forecasts. But the approved decision also requires that annual projected power expenses—from renewables to fossil—be compared to the actual tab. State energy regulators unanimously agree to a three-year resource adequacy requirement and to later create a […]

Senate Panel Warned of Excess Reliance on Cap & Trade

20 Feb

Over reliance on the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program to reach California’s 2045 carbon neutrality target was the focus of a Feb. 20 Senate Environmental Quality Committee hearing. “The cap-and trade program is providing practically no benefit to emissions reductions,” warned Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont). However, of the 621 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emission […]

EPIC Program Aims to Get Ahead of Epic Changes

20 Feb

Key focuses of the state program dispensing $162 million a year are advancing innovative clean energy projects in disadvantaged communities and communities with high fire danger. Another top priority of the Electric Program Investment Charge is diversifying energy storage in California to help meet climate protection and renewable targets in a changing environment, said speakers […]

CPUC Prohibits SoCal Gas from Keeping $1B+ in Cap-Trade Money

31 Jan

At its end of the month business meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission forbade Southern California Gas from redirecting $1.21 billion generated by greenhouse gas cap-and trade revenue away from its natural gas ratepayers to cover utility administrative costs. The five commissioners, including the newest member, Genevieve Shiroma, directed the gas utility Jan. 31 to […]

Climate Roundup: Natural Gas Use to Decline as Climate Warms

22 Jan

Global warming will drive electricity usage upward in California and natural gas use downward, according to a study for the California Energy Commission discussed Jan. 18. The report examined almost a billion bills for electricity and natural gas usage in California homes and correlated usage with weather conditions. It then projected how usage is likely […]

Newsom Proposes Tempered Energy & Climate Change Spending

14 Jan

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first state budget proposal would make cuts from last year’s record spending on some energy-related programs, but overall would maintain funding for energy agency operations and staffing, even providing for some small staffing increases. Unlike former Gov. Jerry Brown, who heavily featured climate change expenditures in his annual budget messages, Newsom focused […]

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 […]

Cap & Trade Revisions Focus on Cost Control

13 Dec

California air regulators Dec. 13 adopted amendments to the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program designed to curb the cost of cutting emissions in the coming decade. They also fine tuned how emissions trading will work in the coming decade. The amendments will help “contain the costs” of cutting carbon emissions while “increasing the environmental benefits to […]

Climate Roundup: More State Money Needed to Hit 5M EV Mark

4 Dec

Dramatic increases in investments in both charging stations and subsidies to auto purchasers are needed to get 5 million electric vehicles on the state’s roads by 2030, according to estimates presented this week to the California Air Resources Board. Meeting the 2030 goal will cost the state billions of dollars over the next ten years. […]

Juice: CA’s GHG Reduction Tail Pipe Dream

3 Dec

As Gov. Jerry Brown passes the baton to Gavin Newsom, the octogenarian’s primary project—California’s world famous climate change program—is teetering. Sure, Californians can celebrate that they’ve already met the initial target under the now 12-year old AB 32 of cutting carbon emissions to their 1990 level by 2020. However, an increasing number of trend lines […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Punts on Tropical Forest Offsets

20 Nov

The California Air Resources Board delayed endorsing use of tropical forest offsets for compliance with the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program. In the face of heavy pressure from indigenous groups and some environmentalists during a Nov. 16 hearing on the issue, air regulators decided to postpone a decision on the proposed use of tropical forest offsets […]

Juice: CA Climate Policy Refugees?

19 Nov

California’s master plan for cutting greenhouse gases could be jeopardized by a lawsuit by a civil rights group. The suit filed by a group calling themselves “The Two-Hundred” may soon be heard in a state court in Fresno. The legal challenge filed earlier this year contends the state’s climate policies are heightening inequity. The claim […]

The Buzz

15 Nov

California air regulators take initial steps on cap-and-trade program revisions to double greenhouse gas cuts in the decade ahead. The same day, a report is released that pushes land management changes to slash greenhouse gases in California. That includes improved forestry and woodlands management, slower conversion of natural lands and greener agriculture. At the nation’s […]

Juice: New Rules of the Road

23 Oct

As Gavin Newsom draws close to becoming California’s next governor, the biggest energy policy question he’ll face is what to do about oil when it comes to meeting the state’s 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction target. Meeting the 2050 goal will require the state to move away from consuming, producing and refining oil. Over the […]

JUICE: Adequate Adaptation

9 Oct

In spite of his climate protection mantle, Gov. Jerry Brown has faced protests over his support of the fossil fuel industry, particularly his reluctance to ban fracking and impose a severance tax on oil and natural gas extraction from state lands. Grassroots criticism of Brown’s inaction on curbing polluting transportation fuels, despite his embrace of […]

Civil Rights Group Sues CARB for Climate Discrimination

3 Oct

California’s air regulators were slapped with a lawsuit charging that their greenhouse gas reduction policies and practices, specifically the 2017 scoping plan to achieve mandated carbon reductions, are racially and economically discriminatory. “California’s climate change policies, and specifically those policies that increase the cost and delay or reduce the availability of housing, that increase the […]