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Shorts

17 Apr

Energy Secretary Rick Perry this week announced almost $150 million in Department of Energy funding for renewable energy technologies. “American ingenuity is the engine of our energy economy,” said Perry. “Investing in all of our abundant energy sources, including solar technologies, will help to drive down costs and ensure that the nation leads the world […]

Measure Requiring SDG&E to Provide San Diego 100% Renewables Sputters

12 Apr

A ballot measure that would mandate that San Diego Gas & Electric provide the City of San Diego 100 percent renewable energy, as part of a renewed franchise agreement, was sent back to the drawing board by the City Council’s Environmental Committee. The four-member committee April 12 asked the council’s Rules Committee, which initially forwarded […]

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 […]

Climate Roundup: Enviro Justice Groups Seek to Protect Low Income Weatherization

3 Apr

Updated April 5 The governor’s spending proposal to eliminate the Low Income Weatherization Program’s budget is opposed by a coalition of environmental justice advocates. The program, administered by the Department of Community Services & Development, has provided energy efficiency and solar installations, and utility bill savings in struggling communities. It is funded by the California […]

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 […]

PG&E Moves to Get Wildfire Lawsuits Dismissed

29 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric wants a state court to dismiss wildfire liability lawsuits against it on the basis that it cannot, as claimed, spread out the massive cost of last October’s fires in Northern California to all of its ratepayers. In lawsuits filed last year, plaintiffs argue that PG&E is on the hook for damage […]

JUICE: State Bills Focus on Changing Energy Landscape

27 Mar

Key legislation would deal with how and when private utilities can recover from ratepayers the cost of wildfires, prohibit state energy regulators from halting natural gas hookups and safeguard select gas-fired power plants. But, the talk of the town is the revised measure to allow California’s grid operator to expand. Closed door negotiations are ongoing […]

Low Carbon Transportation Cuts Rile Clean Vehicle Advocates

15 Mar

The governor’s proposed $435 million budget for the California Air Resources Board’s low carbon transportation program was criticized for reducing funding for low and zero emissions heavy-duty trucks and for lacking parity of funding between electric and hydrogen powered vehicles. The proposed 2018-19 budget is below the current budget of $560 million. “We are on […]

Shorts

15 Mar

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said this week California cannot be the tail that wags the dog when it comes to the future of federal greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for autos. His remarks came as the EPA is reviewing Obama-era federal emissions standards that mirror California’s for the period of 2022 […]

CA Leaders Poised to Act on Utility Wildfire Costs

13 Mar

California’s political leadership announced March 13 their collaboration on developing measures that lessen the impacts of devastating fires, mudslides and other climate driven natural disasters. That includes pushing expected legislation to allow utilities to recover all of their wildfire costs from ratepayers. “It is critical we take strong and comprehensive action to protect all Californians […]

CA Officials Protest EPA’s Plan to Yank Clean Power Plan

1 Mar

California’s ongoing push to thwart the climate damaging efforts of the Trump Administration were on full display at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Feb. 28 “listening session” on its proposal to repeal the federal Clean Power Plan. “Who are you listening to?” Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board chair, asked the EPA officials at the […]

SMUD Approves WaterFix Environmental Document

20 Feb

The California WaterFix project, a potential $16 billion dollar public works plan to divert water from the state’s largest delta in order to improve water supplies, has moved a little closer to reality after a Feb. 15 vote by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s board. On a 7-0 vote, the SMUD board approved findings within […]

Shorts

20 Feb

Updated Feb. 22. Edison International reported a fourth quarter 2017 net loss of $545 million compared to net income of $329 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 on Feb. 22. Earnings at its utility, Southern California Edison, declined $437 million from those in the fourth quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, earnings also slowed at Pacific […]

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 […]

Regulators Grapple with Growing Fire Dangers

1 Feb

How to reduce the risk of more frequent and intense wildfires in the state, with a worrisome number sparked by utility equipment, was the subject of a Jan. 31 California Public Utilities Commission meeting attended by all five commissioners. “The ferocity of events we face outstrips our resources, policies and preparation,” warned Mike Picker, CPUC […]

Fire Risks Require Land & Building Changes, CPUC Told

1 Feb

Fire safety scientists and engineers predict California will face mounting danger from wildfires in the coming decade due to climate change regardless of what energy utilities do to reduce the chances that their equipment may ignite blazes. The chief way to prevent a mounting toll of death, injury, and property damage, they told the California […]

Climate Roundup: Climate Change Adoption Report

30 Jan

The California Natural Resources Agency updated its climate adaptation report Jan. 29 against the backdrop of rising temperatures, a season of major wildfires, and extreme weather events. “California leads the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat the effects of climate change, but impacts already are being felt and they are disproportionately affecting our […]

CA Sues Trump over Federal Fracking Rule

24 Jan

California’s top attorney filed another suit against the Trump Administration, this time for repealing regulations to mitigate the impacts of fracking oil and gas wells on federal and Native American tribal lands in and outside the state. President Trump and Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke “didn’t let the law or facts get in their way […]

Undercurrents

23 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission approved a statewide fire threat map highlighting areas with higher and extreme risks from utility associated wildfires. The state fire threat map, approved Jan. 19, ranks fire hazards to people and property. It also aims to implement new CPUC fire-safety rules, including on utility vegetation management. The new rules require […]

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 […]