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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 […]

CA & Canada Join Forces on Cleaner Cars

1 Jul

California and Canada agreed to work together to develop vehicle tailpipe emission standards that are more stringent than the ones the Golden State has in place, which are being challenged by the Trump Administration. The memorandum of understanding signed last week also includes commitments by the two major economies to advance the adoption of electric […]

California’s Original EV Mandate

25 Jun

In 1990, the California Air Resources Board adopted what became known as California’s zero emissions vehicle mandate under a federal Clean Air Act waiver. CARB’s mandate required that by 1998, two percent of the passenger cars sold by automakers be battery electric vehicles, with the level rising to 10 percent by 2003. The aim of […]

JUICE: Clean Car & Air Chaos

25 Jun

If President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to yank California’s authority to enact automotive emissions and fuel efficiency standards that are tighter than federal requirements, the work of the Golden State and utilities here to promote electric vehicles and develop charging infrastructure will be jeopardized. Not only will California’s climate change goals be […]

Inside the Beltway: Lawmakers Clash on Auto Standards

20 Jun

Legislators and policy makers displayed wide differences regarding the future of automotive standards aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions June 20 during a joint hearing of the House Energy & Commerce Consumer Protection & Commerce and Environment & Climate Change Subcommittees. The panels delved into the Trump Administration’s plan to freeze Obama era standards modeled […]

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 […]

Juice: Trump’s Job Killing Machine

20 May

California energy utilities, community choice aggregators, and power generators must actively support state officials who are fighting a move by the Trump Administration to freeze automotive emissions control standards aimed at cutting greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants. At stake are years of planning efforts and billions of dollars of investments to ready the grid for […]

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: CEC Aims to Fund New Technologies

26 Mar

The California Energy Commission this week launched an effort to develop a funding roadmap to advance smart inverters, energy storage, electric vehicle-to-grid, microgrid and other demand response technologies. At a March 25 workshop, the commission focused on current technologies and barriers they face that impede higher levels of distributed energy resources feeding into the grid. […]

The Buzz

21 Mar

Two federal energy regulators warn of litigation risks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been creating with its deficient greenhouse gas impact assessments of commission-approved projects. California’s top lawyer throws his weight behind the Bay Area Cities climate change suit against the oil majors. Also, it is mixed messages from FERC. The right wing chief […]

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. […]

Study Aims to Advance EV Charging Infrastructure

11 Mar

In an effort to support California’s goal of getting 5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, the California Energy Commission March 11 began a new effort to better assess how to bolster charging infrastructure. “The electric vehicle adoption rate has picked up in California,” said Kevin Barker, CEC’s deputy director of fuels and […]

Court Okays Aliso Canyon Settlement

26 Feb

A state court approved a $119.5 million agreement between the California Air Resources Board, SoCal Gas, and other parties requiring full mitigation of the massive methane leak that occurred in 2015 at the utility’s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field. “This agreement will mitigate the methane leak itself, and will have a positive impact across […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: CEC Chair Says Adieu

6 Feb

Updated Feb. 6. Bob Weisenmiller, California Energy Commission chair, will leave his post Feb. 21. “This position has allowed me to preside over transformative policies aimed at addressing some of California’s key energy challenges, including the threat of climate change,” he stated Feb 6. Weisenmiller, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, has served as […]

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 […]