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CARB Approves Border Emissions Reduction Program

16 Jan

A new community-focused emissions reduction program aimed at reducing air pollution in a section of Imperial County near the Mexico border was approved by the California Air Resources Board during a Jan. 15 meeting. “It is a remarkable day and a remarkable historic process that we’re involved in,” ARB Chair Mary Nichols said just before […]

State Budget to Dedicate $2B to Climate Protection

13 Jan

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2020-21 state spending plan released Jan. 10 would spend $1.7 billion to reduce the impacts of climate change. The proposal includes investments in low carbon emission projects, wildfire mitigation, environmental equity, and alternative energy jobs in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1. “The state’s goals are clear. Californians must have […]

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,” […]

JUICE: 2020 Energy Trends

7 Jan

Top ticket energy issues in the Golden State this coming year include energy storage, transportation electrification and microgrids. Other key matters are the growing roles of community energy and natural gas bans. The rise in renewable energy and decarbonization efforts in California are the key drivers behind these market transformations. Simultaneously, these efforts to green […]

CARB Rolls Out Zero Emissions Truck Proposal

12 Dec

The California Air Resource Board Dec. 12 held an initial hearing on draft standards to require truck makers to begin selling electric- and fuel cell-powered “zero emissions” trucks in the state beginning in 2024. “This is the first such effort in the world,” said Air Board Chair Mary Nichols. The aim is to cut emissions […]

House Democrats Push a Carbon Tax

5 Dec

In the midst of the United Nations Climate talks in Madrid, Spain, a House committee explored the appropriate price tag to place on a carbon tax as a means of curbing greenhouse gases. The optimal price was said to range between $25 to $100 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. Two of the four professors […]

Pot Farms Burn the Midnight Oil, CEC Finds

2 Dec

Cannabis cultivation is and will continue to drive up electricity consumption in California. It is expected to add 1,600 GWh of new load over the next decade, according to the California Energy Commission. Demand from pot growth, largely energy-intensive indoor cultivation, is estimated to increase energy use in Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California […]

Opposition Grows to Converting Utah Plant Serving So Cal to Gas

21 Nov

Clear air advocates Nov. 19 urged the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to put the brakes on a coal to natural gas conversion at the Intermountain Power Project in Utah. Their call occurred the same day that the California Energy Commission revealed that much of state’s gas power plant fleet will remain online […]

Newsom Names Energy Czar

5 Nov

Gov. Gavin Newsom Nov. 1 appointed California’s third energy czar in the 21st century to address the current energy crisis driven by utility wildfire liability and threats. The appointee is Newsom’s Cabinet Secretary Ana Matosantos. She also served under the Brown and Schwarzenegger gubernatorial administrations. Czarina Matosantos is specifically tasked with ensuring Pacific Gas & […]

CPUC Approves Ratepayers Paying $10.5 B into Wildfire Fund

24 Oct

A wind-driven blaze that grew from 300 to 10,000 acres overnight in Sonoma County was the background for the California Public Utilities Commission’s Oct. 24 meeting. During the meeting held in Redding, regulators unanimously approved collecting $10.5 billion from utility ratepayers for a $21 billion utility wildfire fund. Southern California also was experiencing weather driven […]

House Panel Weighs How to Cut Transportation Emissions

24 Oct

Slashing emissions from ports, trucks and jets requires federal policy changes and financial assistance, lawmakers were told during an Oct. 23 House Environment & Climate Change Subcommittee hearing. The Wednesday hearing examined how these sources of greenhouse gases can be cleaned up to help the U.S. achieve a carbon lite economy by 2050. “Fast, efficient […]

CPUC Faces Opposition to Protecting Gas Plants

10 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission was met a by a string of protesters Oct. 10 who objected to the commission’s proposed Integrated Resource Plan to extend the life of aging gas plants. Considering adding three years to the life of seawater-cooled gas power plants, predominantly along the Southern California coast, pays “little regard to the […]

Shorts

8 Oct

San Francisco, San Diego and Irvine ranked first, second and third respectively among U.S. cities at the forefront of promoting sustainable communities. That includes via the creation of green jobs and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to WalletHub.  It released its findings Oct. 8. Wallethub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 28 critical […]

Pumped Storage Project Contested at FERC

30 Sep

A long planned pumped hydro energy storage project the developer claims will help California reach its 100 percent carbon-free electricity goal faces environmental objections in its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing process. Last week, Orange County Coastkeeper protested the proposed 500 MW project planned at Lake Elsinore in Riverside County. The environmental organization claims related […]

Gov. Directs Money & Climate Protection Alignment

23 Sep

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Sept. 20 directing the leveraging of the state’s $700 billion pension investment funds to promote increased climate protection in California. That is to include tapping into the California Public Employees Retirement System, California State Teachers Retirement System and the University of California Retirement funds. Newsom also inked two […]

Shorts

23 Sep

Updated Sept. 26 The electric grid faces growing cybersecurity risks, particularly to industrial control systems that support grid operations, the General Accountability Office warned Sept. 25. “The increasing adoption of high-wattage consumer Internet of Things devices—“smart” devices connected to the internet—and the use of the global positioning system to synchronize grid operations are also vulnerabilities,” […]

The Buzz

19 Sep

Trump’s claim that California’s Clean Air Act waiver is preempted by federal law drives state air regulators to look at other ways to slash climate pollution from the transportation sector. Two Republican federal energy regulators approve a proposal to alter the 40-year old law protecting small renewable projects and co-generation. The dissenting Democratic commissioner says […]

Joint House Panel Hears Young Voices on Climate

18 Sep

Climate change is “so important, but the aggravating thing is that there are so many people who still deny it,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) said at the opening of joint House hearing Wednesday. “Our generation has failed to adequately address our climate crisis,” the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs said. “It’s not fatal, […]

Private Utilities Face Wildfire Mitigation Plan Hurdles

18 Sep

California’s three large investor-owned utilities reported progress implementing their mandated SB 901 wildfire mitigation plans, but the shortage of tree trimmers and composite poles are among the challenges hampering their efforts. San Diego Gas & Electric’s Jonathan Woldemariam, director of wildfire mitigation and vegetation management, said Sept. 17 that the work has been “a humbling […]

The US is Behind Rare Mineral Curve Big Time

17 Sep

The surge in renewable energy and electric vehicles highlights the risks of importing limited essential minerals from opaque markets, many in unstable regions. The matter is further exacerbated by the United States’ failure to compete in this area. “Batteries don’t work without lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel; solar panels require silver, gallium, indium, tellurium; and […]