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The Buzz

17 Aug

Few are holding their breath on votes on the big pending energy bills. The fate of legislation creating grid regionalization and a 100 percent green energy bill, as well as addressing wildfire liability, is anyone’s guess. Adequate and continuous funding for wildfire mitigation and management in California is the elephant in the room that legislators […]

The Buzz

19 Jul

The East Bay’s new community choice program adopts a five-year local investment plan that targets local renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric transportation. In an increasingly rare display of bipartisanship in Washington, members of both parties in the House praise the growing role of energy storage technology during a committee hearing this week. Current’s Juice […]

Climate Roundup: Mixed Signals on CA Vehicle Standards Waiver

30 Apr

The fate of California’s electric vehicle requirement hangs in the balance. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt late last week told a Congressional panel he had no plans to rescind a waiver that lets the state set its own auto emissions standards. However, that was contradicted the next day by news reports indicating EPA […]

The Buzz

19 Apr

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agrees to rules increasing transparency on above market payments grid operators make to uneconomic resources, and getting interconnection agreements in gear. They also open the door to input on their problematic natural gas pipeline permitting process. In addition to shining a light on “uplift” payments for resources that can’t recover […]

Energy Facility Cyberattacks “Constant,” FERC Warns

17 Apr

Federal energy regulators ranked the security of the nation’s electric grid, dams, and oil and gas pipelines as the number one priority for the energy industry during an April 17 House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee hearing. Cyberattacks on the grid and other energy facilities “are constant,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Kevin McIntyre told […]

House Bill Eases PURPA’s Must-Buy Requirement

22 Jan

State energy regulators would gain more authority to waive the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act’s must-buy requirement for utilities under legislation debated Jan. 19 in the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy. The measure, H.R. 4476, would allow state utility commissions to relieve utilities of the duty to purchase power from facilities with capacities […]

Financial Firms Pocket Congestion Revenue Rights Rent

29 Nov

Californians are losing money to the financial industry in the state’s wholesale electricity market through a practice known as financial trading, which some say allows financial companies to collect rents by participating in wholesale power markets without adding value. The loss amounts to $75 million a year, a California Independent System Operator official told a […]

Undercurrents

16 Oct

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry expanded upon his call for new payments to coal and nuclear power plant operators for their fuel secure characteristic during a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing on Oct. 12. “Thousands of megawatts of fuel-secure generation capacity, including environmentally compliant coal and emission-free nuclear resources, have been prematurely […]

Shorts

11 Sep

Updated Sept. 14 After an almost nine month hiatus, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is fully functional again. FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee earlier this week announced that the commission will again hold monthly meetings beginning next week on Sept. 20.  The commission has not met since early this year after losing a quorum following the […]

Undercurrents: Perry “Bullish” on LNG Exports

18 Jul

Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters in Washington July 18 that he envisions the U.S., along with Canada and Mexico, becoming a dominant force in international energy markets. Perry voiced support for a continuing Department of Energy and government role in funding research and development of a wide range of technologies—from clean coal and nuclear […]

Senate Panel Seeks Faster Energy Infrastructure Permits

14 Mar

A key U.S. Senate committee is aiming to include an easing of energy infrastructure permitting in President Donald Trump’s upcoming infrastructure legislation, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The chair of the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee said March 14 that the panel plans to work with Trump “to develop a broad infrastructure […]

Bill Seeks to Pave Way for a U.S. Nuclear Power Revival

8 Mar

The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee March 8 took up legislation to modernize the nation’s nuclear plant licensing process in a bid to clear the way for a new generation of plants based on advanced designs. The bipartisan bill, S. 512, is a new version of legislation that failed to advance in the last […]

Undercurrents: Reps Push to Get FERC Void Filled

28 Feb

Nearly 100 Congressional representatives from both sides of the aisle urged President Donald Trump to prioritize appointment of Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners because of the lack of a quorum at the agency. (more…)

House Panel Renews Energy Modernization Legislation Effort

15 Feb

A House subcommittee began hearings aimed at getting an energy infrastructure modernization bill passed in this Congress after legislation crafted in the last legislative session failed. (more…)

Shorts

15 Feb

The California Department of Water Resources was ordered this week to perform a “forensic analysis” of the failure of the spillway at Oroville Dam by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC, which licenses dams that produce hydropower like Oroville, also ordered the department to convene an independent board of consultants to review the situation and […]

FERC Staff Fills Commission Quorum Void

7 Feb

The staff took over more power at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Feb. 4 under a delegation order promised by commission Chair Cheryl LaFleur. It was in response to the sudden absence of a quorum earlier this month. (more…)

JUICE: CA Green Ain’t the New Black

17 Nov

Last week’s national election was demoralizing for clean energy advocates and many others but it also had the inverse effect of galvanizing state and local leadership. A few days after the election, Gov. Jerry Brown pledged to “protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time, devastating […]

CA Democrats Hold on to Two of Three Close House Races

10 Nov

The Nov. 8 election results of tightly contested House of Representatives races in California are another sign that California is going against the national political tide. Voters put or kept Democrats in two of the three closely watched Congressional races. Voters in Sacramento County’s District 7 re-elected Democrat Ami Bera. He won 50.6 percent of […]

House Hearing Shows Sharp Divide on Coal Power in Western States

7 Jul

As California energy officials hurry to regionalize the western power grid, sharp differences were on display this week during a House panel hearing on the impact of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rules on the nation’s power industry. (more…)

Congress Extends Authority of Federal Pipeline Regulator

16 Jun

The evening before the June 14 hearing by the U.S. Senate energy panel, the Senate unanimously reauthorized the federal Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to 2019. (more…)