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The Buzz

17 Jan

State energy agencies are delving into natural gas and electricity price spikes in Southern California. One major SoCal Gas supply pipeline remains out of service after it burst in 2017, while two other major utility pipelines are operating at reduced capacity due to age deterioration. Lawmakers and the governor are not rushing to any conclusions […]

Wheeler Hearing Prompts Acrimony over EPA Policy

16 Jan

Andrew Wheeler, the controversial nominee to head the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, defended the agency’s weakening of vehicle and power plant emission standards during his confirmation hearing held on the 26th day of the federal government shut down. “No one is more qualified” for the job than Wheeler, Sen. James Inohe (R- OK) said during […]

Shorts

3 Jan

The Department of Water Resources’ first snow survey of the new year revealed the water content of the snow is 80 percent of average at the standard measuring location, Phillips Station. The Jan. 3 survey recorded 25.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 9 inches. The Sierra snowpack is 67 percent […]

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 […]

Juice: CA’s GHG Reduction Tail Pipe Dream

3 Dec

As Gov. Jerry Brown passes the baton to Gavin Newsom, the octogenarian’s primary project—California’s world famous climate change program—is teetering. Sure, Californians can celebrate that they’ve already met the initial target under the now 12-year old AB 32 of cutting carbon emissions to their 1990 level by 2020. However, an increasing number of trend lines […]

Senate Panel Weighs Energy Measures in Lame Duck Session

29 Nov

A U.S. Senate subcommittee held a Nov. 29 hearing on 14 energy-related bills, spanning a wide gamut of topics, from promoting employment of veterans by the energy industry to bolstering research by the Department of Energy on energy storage and distributed energy resources. The hearing came during the lame duck session when federal lawmakers’ key […]

FERC May Soon Get 5th Commissioner

27 Nov

In spite of opposition to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by Democrats, the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee recommended his approval to the post. On a 13-10 largely partisan vote cast Nov. 27, the committee forwarded his nomination to the full Senate. If confirmed, McNamee […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Punts on Tropical Forest Offsets

20 Nov

The California Air Resources Board delayed endorsing use of tropical forest offsets for compliance with the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program. In the face of heavy pressure from indigenous groups and some environmentalists during a Nov. 16 hearing on the issue, air regulators decided to postpone a decision on the proposed use of tropical forest offsets […]

The Buzz

15 Nov

California air regulators take initial steps on cap-and-trade program revisions to double greenhouse gas cuts in the decade ahead. The same day, a report is released that pushes land management changes to slash greenhouse gases in California. That includes improved forestry and woodlands management, slower conversion of natural lands and greener agriculture. At the nation’s […]

McNamee on Senate Hot Seat over Coal & Nuke Bailout Plan

15 Nov

President Donald Trump’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee from Texas faced heavy criticism for not agreeing to recuse himself from decisions related to potentially subsidizing struggling coal and nuclear plants if he is confirmed for a commission seat. As the Department of Energy Policy Office Director, Bernard McNamee worked closely with Energy Secretary Rick Perry […]

Trump Administration in Energy Hot Seat

8 Nov

When the new Congress convenes in January, the Trump Administration will face increased heat from the House over its pro-fossil fuel policies and attempts to rollback climate change rules and other environmental regulations. That’s the word from the likely new chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the key panel that oversees federal energy […]

JUICE: Election Results in the Wild West

7 Nov

Nov. 8 Editor’s Note: We will update the results when they are final, but California Democrats may have won up to six Republican House seats. Voters in California and neighboring states provided mixed messages on promoting and funding climate protection this midterm election. As of press time, Golden State voters may have replaced up to […]

Undercurrents: Chatterjee Named New FERC Chair

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 25. Kevin McIntyre is unable to continue as chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission because of serious health issues related to brain cancer.  He announced Oct. 25 that  he was stepping down. Commissioner Neil Chatterjee will replace him as chair. “I thank Chairman McIntyre for his leadership at the agency, and pray […]

U.S. Senate Panel Probes Restarting Grid Post Blackout

11 Oct

Amid hurricanes, floods, fires, cyber threats, and a changing power generation resource mix, concerns are rising in Washington about the ability of the nation’s power industry to restore the grid after widespread blackouts. “The question we have to be able to answer,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chair of the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural […]

SoCal House Races May Change National Energy Debate

9 Oct

Long-time Republican members of California’s Congressional delegation face uphill battles in retaining their seats next month. Meanwhile, new faces are guaranteed in districts where Republicans are retiring from the House. The potential changes come November—particularly if Democrats take over the House—could bring high profile showdowns on climate change, energy and environmental policy issues in Washington […]

Undercurrents: Renewable Gas Flows, Hydrogen Supply Doesn’t

17 Sep

Renewable natural gas will begin flowing soon at 25 natural gas vehicle fueling stations owned by SoCal Gas, as well as at six fueling stations in the San Diego area. Renewable gas consists of methane generated in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing, and dairies. Capturing it and using it as fuel for vehicles, power […]

Advanced Nuclear Reactors Gain Bipartisan Steam

13 Sep

The allure of developing advanced nuclear power technologies not vulnerable to reactor meltdowns gained ground in the U.S. Senate this week. Bipartisan legislation was introduced to direct the Department of Energy to build a fast neutron-capable research reactor. The bipartisan bill, S. 3422, is sponsored by nine senators, including Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), […]

Kavanaugh’s Record Largely Rejects EPA Power to Reduce Pollution

6 Sep

The vast majority of rulings by the controversial Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh have invalidated air quality and other environmental protection rules, including rejecting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, warn clean energy advocates and others. Kavanaugh, who has sat on the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit […]

Undercurrents: Exit Fee Proposal Bashed by Mayors

4 Sep

Updated Sept. 6. The mayors of major Bay Area cities Sept. 3 protested a proposal by the California Public Utilities Commission released last month that would raise exits fees for community choice aggregators. San Francisco Mayor London Breed, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the tentative decision by Commissioner Carla […]

Undercurrents

14 Aug

In the wake of the departure of Robert Powelson from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, President Donald Trump has signaled he may nominate Bernard McNamee, head of the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, to fill the vacancy. McNamee was involved in developing a Department of Energy proposed rule calling for out-of-market payments to coal […]