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FERC Transmission Planning Process Criticized

10 May

Lawmakers May 10 heard various ideas about how to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of transmission projects across the U.S. in response to a changing energy industry. Strategies ranged from shrinking to expanding the federal transmission planning process. Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Member Tony Clark said at a House Energy & Commerce […]

FERC to Scrutinize CA Power Transmission Costs

17 Apr

Federal energy regulators are considering complaints that Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison evaded federal transmission planning standards to pump up their charges. The dispute comes at the same time that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told Congress this week that grid operators like the California Independent System Operator need to do a […]

Undercurrents

12 Apr

The Natural Resources Agency was urged to alter its climate adaptation work to focus less on fighting climate-driven disasters, such as wildfires, and more on helping prevent climate change impacts, during an April 11 Senate Environmental Quality Committee hearing. “We know we have dead trees and poor soil management in forests,” said Committee Chair Bob […]

The Buzz

5 Apr

Clashing recipes to determine how much community choice organizations must pay the private utilities for their stranded power purchase contracts land in the California Public Utilities Commission’s kitchen. The launch of California’s expected biggest community choice program is not fully baked. The Clean Power Alliance of Southern California’s June debut is limited to two cities […]

Undercurrents: PCIA Struggle Heats Up

4 Apr

Clashing proposals on revising or replacing the California Public Utilities Commission’s controversial power charge indifference adjustment were submitted to regulators April 2. This cost adjustment method determines how much community choice organizations must pay the private utilities for their stranded power purchase contracts. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas […]

JUICE: CA May Have to Hold & Fold in Auto Standards Game

3 Apr

In a MAGA moment, The Trump Administration moved to weaken federal greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and pickup trucks. It also signaled April 2 that it’s reconsidering the Clean Air Act waiver that allowed California to set greenhouse gas standards, which the Obama Administration adopted at the federal level. At issue globally is […]

House Considers Cyber Security Bills for U.S. Energy System

14 Mar

A House panel took up legislation to guard the nation’s energy systems against cyber attacks amid growing concern about potential threats to the electric grid, pipelines, and liquefied natural gas import and export terminals. “The increasingly interconnected nature of our energy systems are changing how we prepare for and respond to emergencies that threaten the […]

Undercurrents

1 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission March 1 approved 5-0 the appointment of 10 members to the newly created Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group. The members are to provide the CPUC and California Energy Commission advice on whether proposed clean energy and pollution reduction programs would benefit struggling communities in polluted areas. Creation of this advisory group […]

Undercurrents

12 Feb

President Trump’s proposed $30.6 billion 2019 budget for the Department of Energy would cut annual funding for energy-related programs at the agency by $1.9 billion to $2.5 billion. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said the proposal “decimates our nation’s investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, which will increase energy costs for consumers, undermine clean […]

BLM Reopens Desert Conservation Plan

2 Feb

The Bureau of Land Management may expand the acreage open to renewable energy siting and broadband facilities in California under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The potential expansion was announced Feb. 1. “We need to reduce burdens on all domestic energy development, including solar, wind and other renewables,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for […]

Shorts

30 Jan

Updated Feb. 1 The California Energy Commission unveiled its latest proposal to require disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions in conjunction with annual reports disclosing the power sources of load serving entities. The proposal, which would implement AB 1110, would disqualify unbundled renewable energy credits from being claimed as greenhouse gas reductions, among other changes. CEC […]

Bill to Bolster LNG Exports Faces Manufacturer Objections

25 Jan

Federal legislation that would tilt decisions about liquefied natural gas exports in favor of domestic producers over domestic consumers faced opposition during a Jan. 19 House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing. “HR 4605, as drafted would delete section 3(a) from the Natural Gas Act, which includes a public interest standard for judging whether […]

Undercurrents

16 Jan

The world’s energy supply increasingly is being dominated by solar and wind technologies, the International Energy Agency told U.S. lawmakers. Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, told the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Jan. 16 that by 2040 renewable technologies will produce 40 percent of the world’s electricity. Solar will dominate the march of […]

Undercurrents: DOE Wants Nation to be Energy Top Dog

9 Jan

Energy dominance is a key Department of Energy goal under President Trump, a leading department official told a House panel this week. Reliable delivery of energy to consumers is another major goal. “We are closing in on our nation’s long-elusive goal of full energy independence,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette before the House […]

JUICE: Clashing Colors

8 Jan

Continued efforts by the Trump Administration to brown green federal protections are being met head on by this Blue State’s considerable political, legal and market clout. In his latest move, President Trump, along with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, said the administration is repealing the prohibition on coastal oil and gas drilling. Zinke said it would […]

House Panel Debates North American Energy Trading

14 Dec

A House Energy & Commerce subcommittee Dec. 13 heard various views on whether and how to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, and specifically about ramifications to trade in natural gas, electricity and crude oil between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. “Energy trade and regulatory alignment have allowed the three countries to reduce their […]

Federal Energy Project Permit Streamlining Said Lacking

12 Dec

Lawmakers focused on efforts to streamline the federal permitting process for energy and other infrastructure projects built on federal lands during a U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing Dec. 12. Panel Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) urged federal agencies to do more to expedite permits. She noted that similar projects approved in Canada […]

Undercurrents

5 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric upped its game on energy storage Dec. 4 by seeking approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to enter into six new contracts with a total storage capacity of 165 MW. “These contracts and the storage capacity they represent will help us better integrate our growing renewable generation sources, and bring […]

Chatterjee Cites FERC Independence on Perry’s Proposal

16 Nov

Neil Chatterjee chaired his last meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 16 after saying in a recent series of interviews that FERC is required by law to act on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants with additional payments in wholesale electricity markets. Chatterjee, who will continue […]

Undercurrents

13 Nov

Renewable energy and the prospects for electric vehicles could be upended in part by Congressional action on tax legislation. At issue is the House tax package, which would cut the production tax credit for wind energy by more than a third, eliminate the federal $7,500 tax credit for purchasing electric vehicles, and ax a 10 […]