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House Climate Change Hearing Calls for Action

7 Feb

A newly configured House Energy & Commerce Committee held its first hearing on the environmental and economic impacts of climate change Feb.6. “We need to modernize and upgrade our infrastructure to ensure vital services like water, sewer, electricity, telecommunications, and transportation are more resilient,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Energy & Commerce Committee chair, during […]

Undercurrents: Drawing the Unaffordable vs. Affordable Rate Line

22 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission took its first step towards getting its arms around the cumulative impacts of its decisions on financially struggling ratepayers. “There is a lot of stake in this proceeding,” said Cliff Rechtschaffen, presiding commissioner, during the Jan. 22 CPUC workshop. He said at issue are the safety, reliability and affordability of […]

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 […]

Climate Roundup: More State Money Needed to Hit 5M EV Mark

4 Dec

Dramatic increases in investments in both charging stations and subsidies to auto purchasers are needed to get 5 million electric vehicles on the state’s roads by 2030, according to estimates presented this week to the California Air Resources Board. Meeting the 2030 goal will cost the state billions of dollars over the next ten years. […]

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 […]

Juice: CA Climate Policy Refugees?

19 Nov

California’s master plan for cutting greenhouse gases could be jeopardized by a lawsuit by a civil rights group. The suit filed by a group calling themselves “The Two-Hundred” may soon be heard in a state court in Fresno. The legal challenge filed earlier this year contends the state’s climate policies are heightening inequity. The claim […]

CEC Debates if Lithium Will Be the New Oil

19 Nov

The potential for recovering lithium from geothermal brine in the Salton Sea to meet the surging growth in use of batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage is high, but faces big hurdles. Tapping into the lithium potential, according to California Energy Commissioner David Hochschild, “could be an important part of California’s energy future.” He […]

California IOUs Show Handy Profits

6 Nov

Updated Nov. 7. California’s three major investor-owned utilities were profitable during the third quarter of this year. That includes Pacific Gas & Electric, which lost money last quarter and faces ongoing uncertainties over wildfire liability. Here’s a breakdown of the third quarter results. Edison International: Edison reported third quarter earnings this year of $513 million, […]

Shorts

6 Nov

Updated Nov. 8. San Diego Gas & Electric filed a proposed settlement agreement at the California Public Utilities Commission Nov. 5 to try and bolster its involvement in electric vehicle charging. Under it, the utility would spend $107.4 million on make-ready infrastructure to support installation of 300 electric vehicle chargers for 3,000 to 6,068 medium […]

CEC Eyes How to Make V2G a Reality

30 Oct

California’s increasing number of electric cars presents a major opportunity for storing excess electric power from the grid and then feeding the grid in times of need, say state officials and clean energy policy advocates. Yet, much work remains to turn the idea into a reality. Storing excess power in electric vehicles and then dispatching […]

Undercurrents: Imbalance Market Savings Top $0.5 Billion

29 Oct

The Western Energy Imbalance Market saved electricity consumers $100.6 million during the third quarter of 2018. That raises total savings since the market opened in November of 2014 to $502.3 million, according to the California Independent System Operator on Oct. 29. “This clearly illustrates the value of markets to the customers in California and the […]

State Officials Bash Trump’s Auto Standards Rollback

26 Oct

California and 20 other states joined with major cities Oct. 26 in a letter calling on the Trump Administration to drop its proposal to freeze federal clean car standards aimed at cutting carbon emissions. “This Trump Administration attack on innovative vehicle technology jeopardizes the health of millions and will cost drivers billions at the pump,” said […]

CARB Outlines $455 Million for Cleaner Transportation

25 Oct

State air regulators acted Oct. 25 to cut greenhouse gas emissions  by adopting a spending plan to advance electric vehicles and clean transportation and also by incorporating methane control standards for oil and gas producers into the state’s master air pollution control plan. The California Air Resource Board’s 2018-19 investment plan outlines $455 million of […]

Juice: New Rules of the Road

23 Oct

As Gavin Newsom draws close to becoming California’s next governor, the biggest energy policy question he’ll face is what to do about oil when it comes to meeting the state’s 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction target. Meeting the 2050 goal will require the state to move away from consuming, producing and refining oil. Over the […]

Shorts

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 26 City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Oct. 25 he wants the city to offer energy supplies to its residents.  Faulconer is asking the city council to approve forming a community choice aggregation program that will reach the 100  percent renewable energy mark by 2035. Competitor San Diego Gas &Electric responded […]

ISO Symposium Focuses on the Future

18 Oct

California’s grid operator during its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento envisioned a future filled with super-efficient autonomous electric vehicles, commonplace energy storage systems, an integrated western grid, and the chance that energy technologies yet unimagined will emerge. Speakers at the two-day California Independent System Operator meeting Oct. 17 and 18 also discussed how a rapidly […]

Climate Roundup: SMUD Back$ All Electric Homes

10 Oct

A major municipal utility and homebuilder announced Oct. 10 that all electric homes are now for sale in a new housing tract in the Sacramento area. The 104 homes will help cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which incentivized the D.R. Horton-built homes in North Natomas. SMUD provided $466,000 of […]

JUICE: Adequate Adaptation

9 Oct

In spite of his climate protection mantle, Gov. Jerry Brown has faced protests over his support of the fossil fuel industry, particularly his reluctance to ban fracking and impose a severance tax on oil and natural gas extraction from state lands. Grassroots criticism of Brown’s inaction on curbing polluting transportation fuels, despite his embrace of […]

Newsom & Cox Clash on Energy & Climate Change

9 Oct

Gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox squared off Oct. 8 in a debate on KQED, clashing over energy and climate policy. Cox, the Republican champion, emphasized the need to pursue “affordable” energy and climate change policies. Newsom endorsed the Gov. Jerry Brown’s current direction, which he said is creating new job opportunities and “green […]