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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 […]

Spending Plans Propel Electric Transportation

31 Jul

Big money is flowing into electric vehicles in California following two actions late last week. One took place in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles. The California Air Resources Board July 27 approved the first part of a four-part spending plan on electric vehicles and vehicle charging stations by Volkswagen. The automaker’s subsidiary, Electrify […]

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 […]

Clean Tech: Using Gas Pipelines for Hydrogen Delivery Is Up Hill Struggle

18 Jul

While policymakers envision piggybacking on the natural gas utility pipeline distribution system to distribute hydrogen to fuel vehicles and burn in homes and businesses, a new study casts doubt about the economics and practicality of doing so, at least for the next 20 years. The University of California at Davis study, presented to the California […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shorts

3 Jul

Volvo will sell only hybrid and pure electric powered vehicles beginning in 2019. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs,” Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president and chief executive, stated July 5. Volvo announced it will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021. The car […]

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 […]

Ways to Advance Renewable Gas

27 Jun

State energy and environmental agencies June 27 heard a potpourri of ideas for building a market to sop up biomethane, which is currently produced and emitted to the atmosphere from dairies, sewage treatment plants, landfills, and other sources in California. Biomethane can be used as a renewable fuel to power vehicles, make electricity and displace […]

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 […]

Bills to Clean Up Unspecified Power & Disadvantaged Communities Advance

20 Jun

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee June 20 passed several energy bills, including ones to improve estimates of greenhouse gas emissions of unidentified power resources and utility baselines, and to direct more clean energy funds and projects to struggling communities. AB 79 by Marc Levine (D-Marin County) passed 9-1. It directs the California Air […]

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 […]

Energy Measures that Advance to Other House

8 Jun

Below is the latest update on bills that passed out of their house of origin. Still in play, but not approved, is Sen. Henry Stern’s legislation to freeze natural gas reinjections into the SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon storage field, which leaked methane for months sickening residents. It was listed on the Senate floor’s June 8 […]