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Climate Roundup: Carbon Auction Revenue Hits $3B

13 Jun

California raised record revenue through the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program in fiscal year 2017-18, according to a California Air Resources Board report. Total revenue from all four of the quarterly auctions this fiscal year equaled more than $2.9 billion. That’s up from $891 million in fiscal year 2016-17 and from $1.8 billion in fiscal year […]

CA Leaders Defer Cap & Trade Expenditure Decisions

12 Jun

As state lawmakers race to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year by June 15, they’ve decided to make any final decisions about how to spend the proceeds from carbon cap-and-trade program auctions later this session. Legislative budget conferees agreed that more time is needed to resolve substantial differences in both the amount of […]

The Buzz

8 Jun

The feisty Air Resources Board knocks hard on federal regulators’ door. The aim is to have a serious discussion with the Trump Administration about plans to knock out California’s tighter greenhouse gas controls for autos. Other potential bad news for the Golden State is the mega bucks it will cost if Trump et al succeed […]

Climate Roundup: ARB Seeks Fed Powwow on Car Pollution Rules

7 Jun

The California Air Resources Board renewed its request to meet with federal regulators to discuss the Trump Administration’s plan to loosen vehicle emission standards. That controversial change also includes rescinding California’s authority to set tighter greenhouse gas controls. Weakening vehicle emission rules would “result in significant harm to public health and the environment, as well […]

Nuclear & Coal Bailout to Hike Home Utility Bills

7 Jun

Californians could be paying hundreds of dollars more a year for power if the Trump Administration advances a plan to bail out coal and nuclear power plant owners and operators. It would cost the nation’s electricity ratepayers more than $30 billion annually on their power bills, skeptics say about the subsidies under discussion in Washington. […]

Clean Tech: The Next Energy Efficiency Frontier: Labs

6 Jun

With the largest population and economy in the nation, California has more laboratories than any other state, boasting some 116 million square feet of energy-gobbling scientific space. Labs represent “the next major frontier in energy efficiency,” Allison Paradise of My Green Lab and Alison Farmer of kW Engineering told the California Energy Commission during a […]

The Buzz

31 May

More than $1 billion in electric truck and car charging funding gets the green light. The California Public Utilities Commission approves the investor-owned power utilities spending $738 million of ratepayer money on EV charging infrastructure, particularly for electric truck and bus chargers. That authorization follows California air quality regulators directing $423 million to subsidize the […]

CPUC Backs Major Utility Spending on EV Charging

31 May

The California Public Utilities Commission May 31 authorized the state’s investor-owned power utilities to spend $738 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with a heavy emphasis on electric truck and bus charging. “The only way to get to a largely carbon-free California is by substantially electrifying the state’s vast transportation system,” said […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Supports Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles

29 May

California air quality regulators late last week approved a plan to spend $423 million to subsidize replacement of big rig trucks and other heavy-duty diesel vehicles with zero- or low-emissions vehicles that will cut smog-forming pollution and greenhouse gases. The California Air Resources Board approved the plan May 25. It is to use some of […]

The Buzz

24 May

The California Independent System Operator weighs increasing payments, primarily to battery-based storage. Multiple revenue streams are being considered for energy storage that provides transmission and other services in its markets. Critics warn that lack of an honest dialogue with the Air Resources Board over excess carbon allowances will cause the state to miss its target […]

CARB Takes Heat on Excess Carbon Allowances

24 May

Concerns about excess allowances in California’s carbon cap-and-trade program and how they may impact the state’s ability to reach its 2030 greenhouse reduction  goal were aired this week in the state capitol. During a May 24 hearing of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies, the question of whether extra allowances in the market […]

Climate Roundup: Focus on Consumption-Based GHG Accounting

23 May

A bill set for a Friday hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee would require California to take a broader approach to measuring greenhouse gas reductions. It would include the carbon content of the products Californians consume instead of just the emissions produced in the state. AB 2726 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-North Bay) passed the […]

Undercurrents

22 May

A modeling tool aimed at helping optimize where to install electric vehicle chargers, the type—level one or two charges—and how many was the focus of a May 22 workshop at the California Energy Commission. The developing model’s focus is to understand the EV market to increase the efficient use of public investments in chargers. “We […]

Juice: Start Small on Electric Truck Charging

22 May

As the Springsteen song goes: “From small things, mama, one day big things come.” The California Public Utilities Commission should take note and resist pressure to significantly increase utility investments in heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Despite calls to do so by clean air advocates and utility executives, it’s wise to take small steps towards […]

Shorts

20 May

Edison President Pedro Pizarro pledged to ramp up wildfire prevention steps last week. That includes cutting off power on transmission lines through fire prone areas when red flag warnings are in effect. Edison, he stated, is partnering with local agencies to evaluate various technologies to help with fire safety throughout Southern California. They include using […]

Climate Roundup: Environmentalists Sue EPA on Car Mileage Standards

15 May

The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations joined the legal fray this week over the Trump Administration’s plans to weaken federal mileage standards for autos designed to cut greenhouse gases and encourage production of electric vehicles. The Sierra Club filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against the federal Environmental […]

Brown’s Budget Update Hikes Forest Fire Prevention Funds

15 May

Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised 2018-19 budget proposal released May 11 would allocate $1.25 billion in carbon cap-and- trade revenue to protect against climate change. Included is $256 million to reduce wildfire threats in the state, up from $220 million this fiscal year. Brown’s initial budget, released in January, included $160 million of cap-and-trade auction revenue […]

Automakers Aim to Ease Tensions in Emissions War

14 May

Automakers may have eased tensions a bit last week between the Trump Administration and California over greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for new cars for model years 2022-2025. In a statement following a meeting between automakers and President Donald Trump at the White House May 11, the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers stated that […]

CEC Okays Funding Greenhouse Gases Cuts

10 May

The California Energy Commission May 9 approved a $277.5 million investment plan for its Alternative & Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program in fiscal year 2018-19. It is heavily weighted toward building electric vehicle charging infrastructure and refueling stations for hydrogen powered vehicles. Under the plan, CEC plans to provide $134.5 million to help build […]

CEC Backs Solar for All New Homes

9 May

Virtually all new homes built in California beginning in 2020 will have to be outfitted with solar panels and be super efficient under energy efficiency standards for new residential construction approved unanimously by the California Energy Commission May 9. “The marketplace is ready,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who oversaw development of the new building standards. […]