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Climate Roundup: Report Cites Rising Greenhouse Gases from Transportation

22 Aug

Greenhouse gas pollution from cars, trucks and other motor vehicles rose in California, slowing the drop in overall emissions. “On an absolute basis, California’s total GHG emissions fell only slightly in 2015, down 0.34 percent from 2014,” according to a new report, California Green Innovation Index, released by Next 10 Aug. 22. Transportation-related greenhouse gases […]

Action on PG&E Butte Fire Penalty & EV Subsidy Bills

22 Aug

Legislation to strengthen rural wildfire prevention programs with a penalty payment ordered by utility regulators for Pacific Gas & Electric’s role in triggering the Butte Fire in 2015 cleared the Senate Natural Resources Committee Aug. 22. The bill goes next to the Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee. Meanwhile, a separate measure to advance electric […]

Electric Cars & Solar Roofs Driving Energy Demand

3 Aug

California’s future demand for electricity from utilities—and to some extent natural gas—will hinge on how fast electric vehicles and solar rooftops advance in the marketplace, according to the California Energy Commission’s latest forecast. Solar and electric vehicles, according to Chris Kavalic, Energy Commission researcher, “make the most difference in our forecast.” The commission previewed its […]

JUICE: Infrastructure Must Be Adapted to Changing Climate

1 Aug

Now that California has reauthorized its carbon cap-and-trade program and Gov. Jerry Brown has engraved his legacy as the nation’s global warming fighter in chief, it’s time for a sober moment after last week’s celebrations. Catastrophic warming—and all it entails—is happening faster than projected just a few years ago. It can’t be halted, even if […]

The Buzz

28 Jul

The California Independent System Operator seeks to widen the route to the state’s wholesale electricity market for demand response. Microgrids promise benefits, but first the California Energy Commission says numerous speed bumps must be removed to make them more commonplace. The grid operator seeks to head off the potential for sudden loss of large amounts […]

Climate Roundup: Air Board Adopts Rules to Extend Cap & Trade Program

27 Jul

The California Air Resources Board July 27 adopted amendments to its carbon cap-and-trade rules to extend the emissions trading program beyond 2020, allow the state’s carbon market to link to a carbon market in Ontario, Canada, and improve oversight of the market. The board also promised to begin a rulemaking before the end of the […]

Carbon Trading Program to 2030 Is Official

25 Jul

On Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation to continue California’s carbon cap-and-trade program 10 years through 2030. The July 25 signing on the windy island, created by landfill, was at the same site where former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger 11 years earlier signed AB 32, California’s climate protection law. […]

Cap & Trade Extension Soon to Become Law

18 Jul

The legislative package to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to 2030 was sent to the governor’s desk July 17 after both the Senate and Assembly passed the two bills with Republican support that enabled a two-thirds majority. AB 398 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) was approved on a 28-12 vote on the Senate Floor and […]

The Buzz

14 Jul

The governor’s carbon cap-and-trade renewable legislation passes through a Senate panel after a six-hour hearing in which environmental justice activists and local and regional air districts denounced the measure. The oil company-friendly bill package was introduced Monday. Gov. Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade deal appears to be more about cementing his legacy than it is about improving […]

Cap & Trade Bill Passes Key Panel In Spite of Heavy Opposition

13 Jul

Three days after new legislation to extend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program another 10 years was introduced, the Senate Environmental Quality Committee passed it over objections by Republicans, environmental justice advocates and regional air regulators. The July 13 vote came after Gov. Jerry Brown, in a rare appearance of a sitting state chief executive before […]

Juice: Brown’s Hollow Cap & Trade Bills

12 Jul

In his haste to secure his legacy as the world’s top greenhouse gas fighter, Gov. Jerry Brown this week threw the state’s environmental justice communities and advocates under the bus. In order to get the Legislature to renew the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program—the state’s hood ornament of environmental righteousness—Brown crafted a climate bill package that […]

Revised Cap-&-Trade Bill Eases Overall Compliance

11 Jul

The newest bill to extend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program 10 years beyond 2020 eliminates regional air quality regulators’ authority to limit greenhouse gases from oil refineries and other major stationary emission sources, sets a ceiling but no floor on the price of tradable allowances and limits use of carbon offsets. The bill, AB 398 […]

The Buzz

7 Jul

Taking the “dis” out of disadvantaged communities was center stage for lawmakers and regulators this week.  Reversing the trend of rising climate emissions and co-pollutants in poor local neighborhoods was the focus of a joint legislative Climate Change Policy panel.  Meanwhile, the CPUC zeroed in on making environmental justice  energy programs just. The Utilities & […]

Cap-&-Trade Impacts Poor Neighborhoods

6 Jul

How to ensure both greenhouse gases and toxic air pollutants are reduced in struggling polluted communities was the focus of a Joint Legislative Climate Change Policies Committee hearing held July 5. The panel members seek “to understand what is happening, and what work needs to be done,” said chair Assemblymember Edward Garcia (D-Coachella). While overall […]

CA Supreme Court Rejects Review of Cap-&-Trade

29 Jun

California’s carbon cap-and-trade program is bona fide until the end of the decade. The state Supreme Court June 28 denied two petitions to hear a legal challenge to the California Air Resources Board greenhouse gas emissions trading program. “Today’s decision helps clear the way for California to continue its ambitious, globally significant climate leadership, and […]

JUICE: The Art of Emissions Warfare

28 Jun

Bay Area air regulators last week backed away from fighting the oil lobby head on. They did not vote to cap regional oil refineries’ greenhouse gas emissions as promised. The move surely was in response to pressure from the governor who doesn’t want a direct confrontation with the powerful oil industry while pushing legislation to […]

Shorts

26 Jun

The California Air Resources Board amended its rules for reporting greenhouse gas emissions June 29. The board decided not to include the California Independent System Operator’s energy imbalance market in the rules. Instead, it said it will collect annual information on greenhouse gas emissions related to that market under a formal subpoena process. It made […]

Regional Air Board Postpones Vote on Oil Refineries Carbon Cap

22 Jun

After Bay Area regulators announced in late May they were taking the bold step of capping greenhouse gases from regional oil refineries, controversy over last-minute revisions killed support for the emissions ceiling midweek. During a testy June 21 meeting of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, a staff revision to loosen the limit and […]

Climate Roundup: Renewable Gas & Higher RPS Are Pricey Options

21 Jun

Renewable natural gas and increasing the state’s 50 percent renewable portfolio standard are the two most expensive options for cutting greenhouse gas emissions under consideration in Sacramento, according to an analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office. LAO ranked the cost per ton of emissions reduction for a variety of measures. It found that adopting a […]

Lawmakers Slow Adoption of GHG Reduction Plan

15 Jun

The California Air Resources Board is delaying adoption of a new master plan outlining how the state will cut greenhouse gases 40 percent by 2030 to give lawmakers time to review and potentially recommend blueprint modifications. “It’s important that we take the time to get it right,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) at the first […]