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Shorts

6 Jul

July 8 update Neither the Assembly nor Senate will return to Sacramento next week as planned. The California Senate made the announcement in a July 8 letter, the day after the Assembly cancelled reconvening July 13 because five who work at the Capitol tested positive for Covid-19, including at least one lawmaker, the San Francisco […]

Court Slams FERC Roadblocks to Pipeline Permit Challenges

30 Jun

Federal energy regulators’ habit of postponing landowners’ challenges to permits for natural gas pipelines that run across their property was soundly rejected by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals June 30. The issue before the court boiled down to the legitimacy of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s issuance of so called “tolling orders,” which delay […]

Clean Energy Growth Impacted by Mineral Constraints

24 Jun

U.S. dependence on imported materials, including some rare minerals used in energy storage and vehicles, is increasing while the supply reliability is diminishing. Demand for lithium, graphite and cobalt is expected to grow 500% by mid-century to meet clean energy demand. “The pandemic has shown how delicate the supply chains are,” U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski […]

News Roundup: $494B for Clean Transportation in House Bill, Little Action in CARB Auction

3 Jun

Almost $500 billion would be invested in the U.S. transportation sector, including electric vehicle charging stations and expanded public transit, under a bill amended by the House Transportation Committee. The Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act also would address climate adaptation with investments in fortified transportation infrastructure. […]

Shorts

12 May

Updated March 13 The colorful S. David Freeman, who headed the state’s largest public municipal power agencies, died at 94 years of age. Freeman also was head of the short-lived California Power Authority created during the 2000-01 energy crisis by former Gov. Gray Davis. Freeman helped the state sign $42 billion in overpriced, long-term power […]

Shorts

10 Mar

California does not yet have any offshore wind plants nor do most other states on the West and East coasts. There is only one commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S., which is in Rhode Island. This market, however, is expected to grow quickly with tools to improve offshore wind turbine performance, making them more […]

The Buzz

6 Mar

State lawmakers ask the private utilities hard questions about the new wildfire mitigation plans’ impacts on ratepayer pocketbooks and safety. Legislators also introduce new bills to keep PG&E et al from writing off penalties for safety violations. Other measures seek to increase the flow of renewable resources into utility grids and vehicles. To help close […]

Shorts

5 Mar

Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4 reappointed two California Independent System Operator board members. Ashutosh Bhagwat and Angelina Galiteva were given additional three-year terms by the governor. Both members are serving third terms. Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO, who retires in June, said the re-appointees and the executive leadership will continue to work together […]

Smaller Nukes will Cut Carbon Pollution, House Panel Finds

3 Mar

Smaller, more advanced nuclear power plants were touted as part of the nation’s clean energy solution during a March 3 House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing. These not-yet commercial smaller modules are projected to produce less radioactive waste, be more flexible and include enhanced safety features. They compare favorably to today’s large nuclear power plants, […]

The Buzz

14 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric offers its nuclear energy to community choice. But it is a hot potato, particularly for East Bay Clean Energy. Local green energy advocates give it a lot of heat for considering the matter. Bets are that extracting lithium from the steamy brine of geothermal plants in the mineral-rich Salton Sea will […]

Energy Savings & Storage Gain Broad Backing From House Panel

13 Feb

Federal legislation to increase energy efficiency across various sectors and advance energy storage received wide support Feb. 12 from a House Energy & Commerce Committee subcommittee. Before the lawmakers were bipartisan bills to increase energy savings in the residential, industrial and commercial sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save consumers money and create jobs. Lawmakers […]

House Panel Hearing on Wildfires & Power Accompanied by Carbon Neutrality Bill

28 Jan

House Democrats formally introduced legislation to make the United States climate neutral by 2050 the same day a committee heard about strategies for reducing wildfire threats, including those sparked by utility equipment. Rep. Frank Pallone, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair, warned of climate disruption exacerbated wildfires, and highlighted the Jan. 28 launch of The […]

CA New Green Deal Pitched

7 Jan

California lawmakers unveiled a state Green New Deal Jan. 6. “Just like with the original New Deal by FDR in 1932 that lifted America out of the Great Depression, we too must now harness all of our people power, political capital and courage to meet today’s greatest challenge—the clear and present danger of climate change,” […]

Shorts

2 Dec

Updated Dec. 5 The California Air Resources Board Dec. 5 adopted rules that seek to reduce carbon and toxic air emissions at California’s major ports. The regulations were driven by the serious health impacts on overburdened, low-income communities surrounding the areas. The new standards focus on emission reductions from berthed ships and other vessels. One […]

The Buzz

21 Nov

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the California ISO’s energy storage compliance filing. It also again rejects on a 2-1 vote climate analyses of liquefied natural gas export projects. A U.S. Senate panel calls for the full Senate to approve the Republican FERC nominee. The silence remains deafening on the fate of the Democrats pick, […]

House Grapples w/ Cleaning Poor Polluted Communities

20 Nov

The House Energy & Commerce Committee Nov. 20 focused on how to protect communities struggling with climate and environmental injustices as the nation attempts to reach a 100 percent clean energy economy. “It is an unfortunate, but inescapable, fact that where you live in this country determines the extent of the environmental health risks you […]

Shorts

19 Nov

Updated Nov. 21. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 21 announced new and upcoming energy infrastructure cybersecurity protections. That includes the creation of both a new physical and cybersecurity group to focus on dam safety and a cybersecurity division within the Office of Electric Reliability. “These efforts will help FERC more efficiently focus its efforts […]

The Buzz

7 Nov

The liability boulder around Pacific Gas & Electric’s neck may thwart its rescue by the federal bankruptcy court, its latest earnings report warnd. Meanwhile, the push for a public takeover of PG&E intensifies. State energy regulators unanimously approve requiring utilities, community choice and other providers to line up an additional 3,300 MW of energy reserves. […]

The Buzz

26 Sep

So. Cal Gas and SDG&E get whopping increases in their 2019-21 general rate cases. State energy regulators say the hefty revenue hikes are needed to fully fund the gas and electric companies’ safety programs. It is a long shot but bondholders try again to inject their plan for paying off PG&E’s massive debts at the […]

Federal Alternative Energy Bills Advance

25 Sep

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Sept. 25 forwarded to the U.S. Senate legislation focused on energy storage, energy efficiency, and industrial emissions reductions. The measures “can serve as the bipartisan pillars of a robust energy package centered on innovation and efficiency,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), Committee chair. Among the measures advanced […]