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Juice: Green Power vs. Green Jobs?

16 Apr

The New Green Deal, a 14-page national resolution to clean up the environment and simultaneously address social inequity by creating new job opportunities and strengthening the social safety net, lacks the force of law. But, it is a powerful, timely idea and symbol that’s causing lots of people to cheer or chastise it. Its potency […]

Shorts

16 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric was one of three companies fined by federal energy regulators for violating cyber security protection rules, according to the Wall Street Journal. PG&E along with DTE Energy was sanctioned. David Ortiz, deputy director of FERC’s Office of Electric Reliability, told the Journal that although there are many cyberattacks, utilities rarely report […]

Seeking to Avoid a Huge PV Panel & Battery Mess

4 Apr

Solar panels installed with state subsidies are starting to reach the end of their lives, but California lacks a plan to dispose, reuse or recycle them. The numbers of aging panels are increasing given the continued growth in photovoltaic installations. Making matters worse is that huge amounts of batteries used in energy storage and vehicles […]

House Hearing Contrasts State Climate Action & Fed Inaction

2 Apr

Updated April 4 State clean energy laws and policies, from renewable energy mandates to electric vehicles, along with community climate protection initiatives, were touted for increasing environmental and economic health during an April 2 hearing in the House Energy & Commerce Committee. A light was shined on these policies and practices also to put the […]

Juice: Climate Change Is A Force for Decentralizing Energy

26 Mar

California utilities have been under pressure for years from new small-scale and decentralized power generation technologies like rooftop solar, and aging facilities that have exploded and killed people. Add in climate-driven wildfires and the utilities are being pushed to the brink. This requires changes to the role and structure of monopoly utilities, as many have […]

Gov. Declares Wildfire Emergency, Eases Enviro Rules

26 Mar

To reduce the threat of wildfires in high risk zones in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom waived environmental regulations to accelerate 35 projects to remove dead and dying trees over the next 12 months. The waiver, covering 90,000 acres, was part of the governor’s March 22 declaration of a state of emergency across California. “The increasing […]

PG&E’s Proposal to Break Green Deals Raises Costs

19 Mar

If Pacific Gas & Electric is allowed to abrogate its long-term renewable contracts as part of a bankruptcy reorganization, bankers will increase the risk premiums on clean energy project loans. That will drive up the price of renewable resources in California, attorneys warned at a legal seminar held March 18 by the Environmental Law Institute […]

San Bernardino County Restricts Renewable Projects

5 Mar

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Feb. 28 acted to curb construction of new utility-scale renewable energy projects on about 1 million acres of desert land within county areas with community plans or zoned as rural living districts. Community-scale projects intended to serve local communities still would be allowed under the policy. The board […]

Utility Plans Will Prevent Few Wildfires, Fire Safety Experts Tell Lawmakers

27 Feb

As the California Public Utilities Commission begins reviewing electric utility wildfire mitigation plans questions are rising about how effective they’ll be at preventing wildfires. The CPUC continued its review this week, but in Sacramento fire safety experts told state lawmakers that utility power lines spark just 5 percent of the state’s wildfires. Ninety-five percent of […]

Juice: Clear Cutting for Fire Safety?

19 Feb

Oaks and other trees in California beware. The state’s investor-owned utilities have declared open season on trees in the name of fire safety. In doing so, utilities are set to cut down 400,000 trees this year alone, largely along their distribution lines where Californians live and work. Indiscriminate tree cutting and topping has the potential […]

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: AG Backs Oakland’s Rejection of Coal Terminal

18 Dec

The City of Oakland’s appeal to defend its ordinance prohibiting storage and shipment of coal to and from a proposed port expansion won the backing of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra this week. “The transportation of coal from the terminal would disproportionately hurt communities of color already burdened by pollution and its consequent health effects, […]

Climate Roundup: Power Industry Emissions Drop Dramatically

10 Dec

Cleaner power production across the U.S. since 2010 has cut the yearly toll of health and environmental damage from making electricity from $245 billion to $133 billion. Most of the benefits of cleaner power production are enjoyed in eastern states, like West Virginia. The east has seen a reduction in reliance on coal power, as […]

IOUs Detail Equipments Possible Role in Fires, Including Bullet Holes

7 Dec

Updated Dec. 11. Both Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison filed follow-up reports with the California Public Utilities Commission on the possible role of their equipment in last month’s fires in Northern and Southern California. PG&E said it found bullet holes at the break point of the pole and on the equipment at […]

CA’s Grid Faces Growing Fire Danger

28 Nov

Fire risks are expected to significantly rise in the Northern California foothills and Sierra Nevada Mountains by the end of the century, increasing threats to transmission systems, said Larry Dale of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and coauthor of a new report on fire and climate risks in California. Fire impacts to the grid are […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Warns of GHG Reduction Shortfall

26 Nov

California’s hopes of meeting its 40 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal by 2030 are fading, according to a report by the California Air Resources Board dated November 2018. The progress report on the state’s efforts to achieve sustainable community development under SB 375 shows state residents are driving more. That’s particularly true for working […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Faces First of Legal Claims for Camp Fire

20 Nov

While the massive Camp Fire in Butte County still smoldered, a class action lawsuit was filed by nearly two dozen residents of Paradise against Pacific Gas & Electric and its parent corporation over utility equipment allegedly sparking the conflagration. The suit was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court Nov. 16. The day the fire […]

Better Land Management Increases Climate Protection

15 Nov

A new report urges state legislators and policy makers to improve land use practices in California, from forested regions to farms, to help slash carbon pollution in the state. The report, Towards a Carbon Neutral California, by Next 10 and The Nature Conservancy released Nov. 15, is timed to influence the California Air Resources Board’s […]

Fires Threaten Utility Finances & Lead to CPUC Rulemakings

13 Nov

Updated Nov. 15. Given utility infrastructure may have ignited two massive wildfires that started last week, the importance of a yet-formed committee tasked with assessing wildfire risks and making recommendations on costs and liability under a 2018 bill is growing exponentially. Pacific Gas & Electric stock fell as low as $17.26 per share on Nov. […]

Shorts

13 Nov

California community choice energy programs have signed long-term power purchase agreements for 2,000 MW of renewable electricity from new or recently opened facilities located in 16 counties in California, according to the California Community Choice Association. “This is a significant achievement for the community choice aggregation movement in California,” said Beth Vaughan, association executive director. […]