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Shorts

23 May

The Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee passed legislation mandating that fines imposed on Pacific Gas & Electric for the 2015 Butte fire directly benefit the two impacted counties. During a May 23 hearing, lasting about two minutes, AB 524 by Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-Madera) was approved.  It focuses on the $8.25 million in penalties slapped […]

CEC Grants Big Clean Energy Bucks

10 May

The California Energy Commission approved more than $55 million in grants May 10 to promote less polluting ports, electric vehicles, alternative vehicle fuels and building energy efficiency. Two Southern California ports and the surrounding poor communities are to reap the benefits of a $25 million in grants for zero and low emission vehicles. The impact […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Resorts to Ex Parte Tactics on Diablo Decommissioning Decision

10 May

Pacific Gas & Electric will meet next Monday, May 15, in commissioners’ offices at the California Public Utilities Commission to lobby against an administrative law judge’s proposed decision to grant it $2.3 billion of ratepayer money for decommissioning its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The decision cut the utility’s original request by $1.5 billion. Matt […]

Climate Roundup: Renewable Gas = Economic Growth?

9 May

Collecting methane from animal feed lots, landfills, sewage treatment plants and other facilities and using it for transportation fuel—particularly to replace diesel fuel in heavy-duty vehicles—could create 130,000 new jobs in California and add $14 billion a year to the state’s economy by 2030, claim renewable gas advocates. The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and […]

Climate Roundup: U.S. Energy-Related Emissions Fall as Coal Declines

11 Apr

Last year, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from energy use were 1.7 percent below 2015 levels.  Carbon dioxide emissions in 2016 were pegged at 5.17 million metric tons, the Energy Information Administration reported April 10. The decline was even greater in the electric power sector, which saw greenhouse gas emissions fall 4.9 percent. Last year’s decrease […]

Shorts

11 Apr

The California Energy Commission April 7 launched the California Offshore Renewable Wind Energy Gateway, a website that provides geospatial information on ocean wind resources, ecological and natural resources, ocean commercial and recreational uses, and community values. The commission said it created the gateway to support the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy […]

JUICE: Trump & CA’s Clean Energy House

5 Apr

President Donald Trump’s growling about climate-friendly federal laws, rules and programs could be worse than his greenhouse gas emissions bite to California’s climate protection efforts, at least in the short term. But, threatened financial chomps are a concern with the possible slashing of federal funding for state renewable energy programs and low-income energy assistance. Sharp […]

Assembly Panel Okays Two Energy Bills

30 Mar

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee March 29 advanced a bill that calls for some of the money in a research and development fund to be spent on projects in low-income areas suffering from air pollution. The panel also passed a second measure, which would exempt a rural electric cooperative from the state’s integrated resource […]

Bill Seeks to Improve Carbon Accounting for Unspecified Power

15 Mar

Legislation requiring the California Air Resources Board to better estimate the greenhouse gas emissions from coal-powered electricity sent into California as unspecified resources passed its first committee hearing. The Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee March 15 passed on an 8-5 vote AB 79 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County). The bill seeks to establish improved […]

Ocean Water Use at Coastal Power Plants Declines Faster than Required by State Policy

9 Mar

Use of ocean water for cooling thermal power plants along California’s coast is substantially below what’s required by the State Water Resources Control Board’s policy to phase out use of seawater, a March 8 California Energy Commission analysis shows. First, plant owners have re-powered many facilities to eliminate use of ocean water and have shut […]

SHORTS

7 Mar

An explosion killed a worker at the Sentinel power plant north of Palm Springs on March 6. Cal-OSHA and the California Energy Commission are probing what went wrong at the 800 MW gas-fired power plant which opened in 2013. Meanwhile, the plant is still operating. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power hopes to […]

Opposition to Puente Power Plant Increases

28 Feb

The head of the state Senate and seven other state lawmakers took the unusual step of urging the California Energy Commission not to license NRG’s controversial 262 MW gas-fired Puente power plant project in Oxnard along the Ventura County coast. The lawmakers insist the needs assessment for the facility is outdated and fails to take […]

Project Shows Potential of Renewable Natural Gas

1 Feb

Renewable natural gas is to be used to fuel the waste hauling trucks of CRR, a waste management company, as early as this summer. Operations are to begin after the completion of a 1.3 mile long SoCal Gas pipeline to CR&R’s organic waste digester in Perris. (more…)

Undercurrents

1 Feb

Growing third-party electricity supplier options, filling 350 vacant positions and being kept in the dark on utility security threats are big challenges for the California Public Utilities Commission, lawmakers were told Jan. 31. By end of the year, 40 percent of the electricity for investor-owned utility customers is expected to come from non-utility supplies, Mike […]

JUICE: Facing Facts

19 Jan

About 70 years after the publication of How Green Was My Valley, the tale of a dying Welsh coal mining town, I spent a day in a large subterranean mine outside of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. (more…)

Agencies Give Tentative Okay to Reopen Aliso Canyon

19 Jan

SoCal Gas has met state safety requirements and may resume normal operations at its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field in the Los Angeles area, three state agencies said Jan. 17, contingent on upcoming public hearings. (more…)

Navajo Coal Plant May Shutdown Soon

11 Jan

The 2,250 MW coal-fired Navajo power station in Arizona is being hammered by low natural gas prices and possible loss of another partner, increasing the odds its could be shuttered by the time its lease expires on Dec. 23, 2019. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power discontinued its ownership interest in the polluting […]

JUICE: Elephants in the Grid Room

5 Jan

Editor’ Note:  With this issue we are launching our Trump Watch, which covers moves and actions by the incoming administration that threaten or clash with California’s years of policies, rules and laws to move its electricity sector away from fossil fuels.   That California’s climate protection and alternative energy policies clash with the incoming Trump […]

Climate Roundup: Air Pollution Rises in Some Areas under Cap & Trade

22 Nov

  California’s carbon cap-and-trade program so far is a mixed bag when it comes to achieving its much vaunted “co-benefits” of reducing smog-forming pollution. (more…)

JUICE: CA Green Ain’t the New Black

17 Nov

Last week’s national election was demoralizing for clean energy advocates and many others but it also had the inverse effect of galvanizing state and local leadership. A few days after the election, Gov. Jerry Brown pledged to “protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time, devastating […]