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The Buzz

13 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking a two-week summer break. The last stories before the break will be posted on July 20. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 6. State energy regulators belatedly agree to approve Southern California Edison’s 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements to be developed […]

Power Industry Emissions Tumble

12 Jul

California surpassed its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal in 2016, according to the California Air Resources Board data  released July 11. The Air Board’s 2016 emissions inventory shows that greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in California that year totaled 429 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That was 12 million tons less than […]

The Buzz

6 Jul

It was not just happy 4th of July, but also happy 3rd of July for many. There were mini fireworks after the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sent the 100 percent clean energy bill to the Assembly Floor. SB 100 sets a 60 renewable mandate for 2030, with another 40 percent to come from big […]

Clashing Views on Power Industry Emissions

3 Jul

A legislative hearing on tracking carbon from electrons delivered to Californians quickly turned into a debate about grid regionalization and the impact of community choice aggregators and direct access providers in the state Capitol on July 2. Liane Randolph, California Public Utilities Commission member, said her agency has targeted a reduction of 42 million tons […]

Shorts

27 Jun

The most important legislation of the session, which would allow California’s grid operator to become a region-wide balancing authority, made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  AB 813 by Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), chair of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee, was forwarded to the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 4-2 vote June 26.  Sen. […]

The Buzz

21 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric notifies investors and lenders that it is taking a $2.5 billion loss in the second quarter as a result of mounting wildfire liability, with the worst potentially yet ahead. Meanwhile, a legislative committee in Sacramento advances a bill that may ease utility liability for wildfires. The California Public Utilities Commission sets […]

Climate Roundup: Low Carbon Fuel Rule May be Relaxed

20 Jun

Easing the standard requiring a 10 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels is being considered by the California Air Resources Board. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a far more expensive strategy for lowering carbon emissions in the state than other carbon reduction efforts, including the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program, according to […]

Undercurrents

19 Jun

Updated June 20. Colorado is signing on to California’s auto emissions standards, making it the fifteenth state or jurisdiction (including the District of Columbia) to do so. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order June 19 signaling the state’s intention to enforce the standards. Hickenlooper made the move just ahead of an expected proposal […]

Juice: Parsing AB 813

19 Jun

Suddenly, all eyes are turned toward the likely prospect California lawmakers will soon enable a regionalized western power grid and wholesale market. Regionalization was on the table a few years ago, but progress largely faltered on concerns it would enable more coal power to flow into California, confounding the state’s march to decarbonize its economy. […]

Climate Roundup: Carbon Auction Revenue Hits $3B

13 Jun

California raised record revenue through the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program in fiscal year 2017-18, according to a California Air Resources Board report. Total revenue from all four of the quarterly auctions this fiscal year equaled more than $2.9 billion. That’s up from $891 million in fiscal year 2016-17 and from $1.8 billion in fiscal year […]

CA Leaders Defer Cap & Trade Expenditure Decisions

12 Jun

As state lawmakers race to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year by June 15, they’ve decided to make any final decisions about how to spend the proceeds from carbon cap-and-trade program auctions later this session. Legislative budget conferees agreed that more time is needed to resolve substantial differences in both the amount of […]

The Buzz

8 Jun

The feisty Air Resources Board knocks hard on federal regulators’ door. The aim is to have a serious discussion with the Trump Administration about plans to knock out California’s tighter greenhouse gas controls for autos. Other potential bad news for the Golden State is the mega bucks it will cost if Trump et al succeed […]

Climate Roundup: ARB Seeks Fed Powwow on Car Pollution Rules

7 Jun

The California Air Resources Board renewed its request to meet with federal regulators to discuss the Trump Administration’s plan to loosen vehicle emission standards. That controversial change also includes rescinding California’s authority to set tighter greenhouse gas controls. Weakening vehicle emission rules would “result in significant harm to public health and the environment, as well […]

Undercurrents

5 Jun

East Bay Community Energy is one of the first community choice aggregation programs in California to develop a community economic development plan aimed at leveraging local control over power procurement to create local jobs and business development opportunities. The draft plan issued June 4 “is intended to develop a comprehensive framework for accelerating the development […]

CPUC Backs Major Utility Spending on EV Charging

31 May

The California Public Utilities Commission May 31 authorized the state’s investor-owned power utilities to spend $738 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with a heavy emphasis on electric truck and bus charging. “The only way to get to a largely carbon-free California is by substantially electrifying the state’s vast transportation system,” said […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Supports Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles

29 May

California air quality regulators late last week approved a plan to spend $423 million to subsidize replacement of big rig trucks and other heavy-duty diesel vehicles with zero- or low-emissions vehicles that will cut smog-forming pollution and greenhouse gases. The California Air Resources Board approved the plan May 25. It is to use some of […]

The Buzz

24 May

The California Independent System Operator weighs increasing payments, primarily to battery-based storage. Multiple revenue streams are being considered for energy storage that provides transmission and other services in its markets. Critics warn that lack of an honest dialogue with the Air Resources Board over excess carbon allowances will cause the state to miss its target […]

CARB Takes Heat on Excess Carbon Allowances

24 May

Concerns about excess allowances in California’s carbon cap-and-trade program and how they may impact the state’s ability to reach its 2030 greenhouse reduction  goal were aired this week in the state capitol. During a May 24 hearing of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies, the question of whether extra allowances in the market […]

Climate Roundup: Focus on Consumption-Based GHG Accounting

23 May

A bill set for a Friday hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee would require California to take a broader approach to measuring greenhouse gas reductions. It would include the carbon content of the products Californians consume instead of just the emissions produced in the state. AB 2726 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-North Bay) passed the […]

Juice: Start Small on Electric Truck Charging

22 May

As the Springsteen song goes: “From small things, mama, one day big things come.” The California Public Utilities Commission should take note and resist pressure to significantly increase utility investments in heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Despite calls to do so by clean air advocates and utility executives, it’s wise to take small steps towards […]