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The Buzz

21 Mar

Two federal energy regulators warn of litigation risks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been creating with its deficient greenhouse gas impact assessments of commission-approved projects. California’s top lawyer throws his weight behind the Bay Area Cities climate change suit against the oil majors. Also, it is mixed messages from FERC. The right wing chief […]

FERC Democrats Challenge Agency’s Scant Climate Analyses

21 Mar

Two federal energy regulators March 21 criticized their agency’s shortcomings in considering upfront the greenhouse gas impacts of commission-approved projects. “We are creating litigation risks by putting our heads in the sand,” said Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur. She highlighted a March 20 federal D.C. District Court ruling that blocks oil and gas drilling […]

Undercurrents: CA AG Backs Climate Change Suit Against Oil Firms

20 Mar

Updated March 21. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is supporting the City and County of San Francisco and City of Oakland’s lawsuit before the Ninth District Court of Appeals against the oil majors for their products’ emissions and resulting contribution to sea level rise. “Companies that reap the benefits of fossil fuels intensify the effects […]

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 […]

Senate Panel Queries PG&E Bankruptcy Impacts

5 Mar

The implications of Pacific Gas & Electric’s second bankruptcy filing this century, including a probable rejection of some or all of its long-term power contracts and the role of the legislature will play, were weighed by the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee March 5. “PG&E encompasses the largest geographical area [of the private utilities] […]

U.S. Senate Panel Focuses on Emissions & the Grid

5 Mar

Climate change’s impact on the nation’s electric system and the need for more clean and reliable energy were in the spotlight during a bipartisan committee hearing this week in Washington, D.C. “The electricity sector is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to climate change, but it is perhaps the most visible and […]

Inside the Beltway: Green Jobs & Carbon Capture

26 Feb

Updated Feb. 27. It was the yin and the yang in Congress Feb. 27 as a committee of the Republican-controlled Senate held a hearing on carbon capture and sequestration and a panel in the Democratically-dominated House focused on green collar renewable energy jobs. The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee held a hearing on the […]

Undercurrents: CEC Chair Says Adieu

6 Feb

Updated Feb. 6. Bob Weisenmiller, California Energy Commission chair, will leave his post Feb. 21. “This position has allowed me to preside over transformative policies aimed at addressing some of California’s key energy challenges, including the threat of climate change,” he stated Feb 6. Weisenmiller, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, has served as […]

JUICE: Regulators & Others Move to Keep Skin in PG&E Bankruptcy Game

29 Jan

State and federal energy regulators took expedited actions to protect their authority over Pacific Gas & Electric before it entered into the unknowns of federal bankruptcy court. Renewable energy companies and other generators asked both agencies to protect their ongoing power agreements with PG&E. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late on Jan. 25 stepped into […]

NextEra Wants FERC to Protect Its PG&E Contracts

24 Jan

NextEra and Pacific Gas & Electric are battling over who calls the shots on power purchase agreements: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and/or the federal bankruptcy court. NextEra sought an emergency ruling from federal energy regulators Jan. 18 to protect its wholesale contracts with PG&E from being abrogated by the federal bankruptcy case. NextEra wants […]

FERC Remembers McIntyre, Investigates Gas Supply Overcharges

17 Jan

The first Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meeting of 2019 was dedicated to the memory of its former chair, the recently deceased Kevin McIntyre, who died from brain cancer. “He was an earnest public servant who wanted to do the right thing,” Acting Chair Neil Chatterjee said during the Jan. 17 meeting. Chatterjee fondly recalled how […]

Shorts

8 Jan

Updated Jan. 10   Southern California Gas announced Jan. 10 that the utility was awarded $1.7 million from the South Coast Air Quality Management District for two projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in residential and commercial buildings. Of those fund, $1.2 million is to support a commercial water heating incentive program that provides rebates […]

The Buzz

4 Jan

With the New Year comes the sad news of the death of Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner, and former chair, Kevin McIntyre. The exit fee slapped on former PG&E customers is estimated to add $100 million. But, the exact tab for community choice customers should be known at the end of next week. CA’s Attorney General […]

McIntyre’s Death Leaves FERC with Four Members

3 Jan

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Kevin McIntyre has died at age 57. McIntyre, who served as President Donald Trump’s FERC chair until October of 2018, had suffered from brain cancer. “As a lawyer, a commissioner, and as FERC’s chairman, he always had the utmost respect for the agency and its mission,” remarked Sen. Lisa Murkowski […]

Shorts

5 Dec

Updated Dec. 6. The U.S. Senate Dec. 6 confirmed Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a 50-49 vote. McNamee’s nomination was controversial because of the role he played while at the U.S. Department of Energy, specifically entailing its proposal that FERC order subsidies for coal and nuclear power plants. McNamee “needs to […]

FERC May Soon Get 5th Commissioner

27 Nov

In spite of opposition to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by Democrats, the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee recommended his approval to the post. On a 13-10 largely partisan vote cast Nov. 27, the committee forwarded his nomination to the full Senate. If confirmed, McNamee […]

The Buzz

15 Nov

California air regulators take initial steps on cap-and-trade program revisions to double greenhouse gas cuts in the decade ahead. The same day, a report is released that pushes land management changes to slash greenhouse gases in California. That includes improved forestry and woodlands management, slower conversion of natural lands and greener agriculture. At the nation’s […]

McNamee on Senate Hot Seat over Coal & Nuke Bailout Plan

15 Nov

President Donald Trump’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee from Texas faced heavy criticism for not agreeing to recuse himself from decisions related to potentially subsidizing struggling coal and nuclear plants if he is confirmed for a commission seat. As the Department of Energy Policy Office Director, Bernard McNamee worked closely with Energy Secretary Rick Perry […]

FERC Works to Ensure Energy Customers Benefit from Tax Savings

15 Nov

Federal energy regulators took action this week to require the electricity and natural gas industries to pass along tax savings resulting from the 2017 federal tax reform bill. “The goal of the whole thing is to get tax savings back into the hands of consumers as soon as possible,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur […]

Demand Response Rises, But Not in CA, Says FERC

13 Nov

Demand response in wholesale power markets across the U.S. grew 3 percent, or by 27,541 MW, between 2016 and 2017, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s annual update on demand response and advanced meters released last week. However, when breaking down the amount of demand response by the regional markets the picture was mixed. […]