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Climate Roundup: Low Carbon Energy Project Slated for Huntington Beach

13 Dec

SoCal Gas joined with the University of California-Irvine’s Advanced Power & Energy Program Dec. 12 to design an “advanced energy community” in an underserved neighborhood in Huntington Beach. The community will be planned as a replicable model that employs solar, wind, and renewable natural gas technology, including storage of renewable energy with power-to-gas technology. “Creating […]

Climate Roundup: E-Highway Test for Trucks in Los Angeles

20 Nov

As the state targets heavy-duty trucks for electrification, news about Tesla’s plan to build battery-powered big rigs overshadowed the start of a demonstration project based on a different approach—using overhead catenary electricity supply lines to power trucks in urban areas. Converting the state’s huge truck fleet to zero or near zero emissions technology is a […]

The Buzz

13 Oct

Utility regulators approved $30 million for energy storage facility subsidies in disadvantaged communities, mostly for institutional systems. The California Public Utilities Commission’s former chief administrative law judge is preparing to sue the agency in court on claims of a retaliatory firing after blowing the whistle on alleged collusion by the commission staff with Pacific Gas […]

CA Exodus from Federal Advisory Roles

6 Sep

California is steadily losing its voice when it comes to federal energy and environmental policy as the Trump Administration either alienates or removes Californians from various advisory committees and delegations in Washington. In the latest move, The Trump Administration notified Carl Zichella Sept. 1 that he would not be reappointed to the Department of Energy’s […]

Spending Plans Propel Electric Transportation

31 Jul

Big money is flowing into electric vehicles in California following two actions late last week. One took place in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles. The California Air Resources Board July 27 approved the first part of a four-part spending plan on electric vehicles and vehicle charging stations by Volkswagen. The automaker’s subsidiary, Electrify […]

$14 B Port Cleanup Plan Lacks Funding

25 Jul

A joint plan by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to dramatically cut pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from their operations over the next two decades leans heavily on electrifying cargo handling equipment and trucks that haul shipping containers. But, it rests on an uncertain financial foundation. The plan, rolled out earlier this […]

Cap & Trade Extension Soon to Become Law

18 Jul

The legislative package to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to 2030 was sent to the governor’s desk July 17 after both the Senate and Assembly passed the two bills with Republican support that enabled a two-thirds majority. AB 398 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) was approved on a 28-12 vote on the Senate Floor and […]

Cap & Trade Bill Passes Key Panel In Spite of Heavy Opposition

13 Jul

Three days after new legislation to extend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program another 10 years was introduced, the Senate Environmental Quality Committee passed it over objections by Republicans, environmental justice advocates and regional air regulators. The July 13 vote came after Gov. Jerry Brown, in a rare appearance of a sitting state chief executive before […]

Juice: Brown’s Hollow Cap & Trade Bills

12 Jul

In his haste to secure his legacy as the world’s top greenhouse gas fighter, Gov. Jerry Brown this week threw the state’s environmental justice communities and advocates under the bus. In order to get the Legislature to renew the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program—the state’s hood ornament of environmental righteousness—Brown crafted a climate bill package that […]

The Buzz

7 Jul

Taking the “dis” out of disadvantaged communities was center stage for lawmakers and regulators this week.  Reversing the trend of rising climate emissions and co-pollutants in poor local neighborhoods was the focus of a joint legislative Climate Change Policy panel.  Meanwhile, the CPUC zeroed in on making environmental justice  energy programs just. The Utilities & […]

Decreasing Struggling Communities Energy Disadvantages

6 Jul

More location-based energy pilot projects, data collection, and language translations can help tackle environmental justice challenges facing disadvantaged communities, according to panelists at a California Public Utilities Commission July 6 hearing on the issue. “Today’s en banc is a first step in what I expect to be an extended process of deeper engagement around the […]

Cap-&-Trade Impacts Poor Neighborhoods

6 Jul

How to ensure both greenhouse gases and toxic air pollutants are reduced in struggling polluted communities was the focus of a Joint Legislative Climate Change Policies Committee hearing held July 5. The panel members seek “to understand what is happening, and what work needs to be done,” said chair Assemblymember Edward Garcia (D-Coachella). While overall […]

Regional Air Board Postpones Vote on Oil Refineries Carbon Cap

22 Jun

After Bay Area regulators announced in late May they were taking the bold step of capping greenhouse gases from regional oil refineries, controversy over last-minute revisions killed support for the emissions ceiling midweek. During a testy June 21 meeting of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, a staff revision to loosen the limit and […]

Climate Roundup: Renewable Gas & Higher RPS Are Pricey Options

21 Jun

Renewable natural gas and increasing the state’s 50 percent renewable portfolio standard are the two most expensive options for cutting greenhouse gas emissions under consideration in Sacramento, according to an analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office. LAO ranked the cost per ton of emissions reduction for a variety of measures. It found that adopting a […]

CEC OKs Ventura Preferred Resources Study

12 Jun

The California Energy Commission agreed June 12 to have the grid operator study if Ventura County could meet an expected shortfall in local power supplies with preferred resources instead of a gas-fired power plant proposed on Oxnard’s beachfront. The study is to be completed by mid-July. “After years of fighting for clean air for Oxnard, […]

Cap & Trade No Votes Were Well Oiled

7 Jun

Behind the failure of cap-and-trade extension legislation in the state Assembly stands California’s oil industry. Fifteen Democrats cast no votes and five did not vote on Assemblymember Cristina Garcia’s AB 378 to tie reductions in toxic and smog-forming air pollutants to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Democrats’ opposition to a bill to reign in pollution […]

Cap & Trade Bills in Limbo

2 Jun

Editor’s Note: Story was written June 1. As a key legislative deadline approaches tonight for passing bills out of their chamber of origin, the fate of the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program remains uncertain. Gov. Jerry Brown has pressed state lawmakers to pass a measure to continue the landmark program through 2030 by a two-thirds vote […]

Gov. Sees Environmental Justice Problems Up Close

24 May

Gov. Jerry Brown met with Assemblymember Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) May 23 to tour the 58th Assembly District in Southeast Los Angeles County and discuss how to meld state efforts on climate change with cleaning up toxic and smog-forming air pollution in working class neighborhoods. “Today, the Governor got to breathe the same air as […]

LA Jump Starts Feed-In Tariff Program

17 May

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is restarting its solar feed-in tariff program at a higher price beginning mid-June under a streamlined procedure. The muni’s board approved the move May 16. Under the revised program, the utility will seek 65 MW of solar production in blocks of 5 MW at a fixed price […]

CPUC to Revise Undergrounding Wire Rules & Provide More Gas Access in Central Valley

11 May

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved moving to revise its rules on the undergrounding of utility electric wires, including how undergrounding projects are chosen and who pays. The rulemaking approved May 11 is aimed at helping determine which underground projects are in the public interest, including how much to focus in urban, suburban, rural […]