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Shorts

7 Apr

Updated April 9 The Federal Reserve was urged to extend its access to short-term debt financing to electric, natural gas and other utilities. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners chairs asked the Reserve for help “to combat the health and economic crisis that is unfolding due to the […]

The Buzz

2 Apr

The surge in residential energy use from millions of people ordered to stay home motivates energy regulators to lighten the financial burden of higher utility bills. They plan to advance the climate credit so they aren’t quite so high. The same day, California’s head energy regulator insists on resolving PG&E’s bankruptcy by the end of […]

Federal Car Emission Standards Rollback Gets Pushback

2 Apr

The Trump Administration’s final rule allowing higher emissions from new cars and small trucks suffered a couple of blows this week. A federal appeals court April 1 said it could not justify why the governing federal agencies hid underlying modelling details of the effect of the weaker emissions standards for vehicles with model years 2021-26. […]

Federal Clean Car Rules Officially Weakened

31 Mar

The Trump Administration followed through on its threat to rollback emission standards on new vehicles and small trucks, harming California’s and other states’ efforts to reduce climate pollution from the transportation sector. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued their final rule weakening fuel economy standards March 31. Annual carbon […]

CPUC Okays $213M in Building Decarb Projects & Outreach

26 Mar

State energy regulators approved March 26 allocating $200 million over four years to support two building decarbonization programs. The decision is “sensible, bold and pragmatic,” California Public Utilities Commission member Cliff Rechtschaffen said. He noted it addresses California’s over-reliance on gas-powered heaters and appliances. Of the state’s total natural gas consumption, 12% is used by […]

Shorts

24 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission and Independent System Operator are holding meetings this week. CAISO’s is holding the public portion of its board meeting remotely March 25, from 2:00 PM-5:00 PM. The agenda includes decisions on reliability must run contracts and its 2019-20 transmission plan. The CPUC business meeting is being held remotely March 26. […]

CEC Awards $25M in Energy Reduction Grants & Loans

11 Mar

The California Energy Commission approved $19.4 million in grants to help food producers in the state cut their energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Also at this week’s March 11 meeting, newly confirmed commissioner Patty Monahan applauded the agency for pressing forward on transportation electrification with its upcoming Integrated Energy Policy Report. It will […]

Energy Commission Proposes 3-Year Clean Transportation Funding Cycle

3 Mar

With electric vehicle sales an order of magnitude below where they need to be to match California’s carbon reduction goals, state agency staff proposed tripling support for electric vehicle infrastructure and extending the funding period from one to three years. The bulk of the $384.2 million in Clean Transportation Program funds discussed at a California […]

Smaller Nukes will Cut Carbon Pollution, House Panel Finds

3 Mar

Smaller, more advanced nuclear power plants were touted as part of the nation’s clean energy solution during a March 3 House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing. These not-yet commercial smaller modules are projected to produce less radioactive waste, be more flexible and include enhanced safety features. They compare favorably to today’s large nuclear power plants, […]

Opinionated: What Happened to SMUD?

2 Mar

Editor’s note: The California Energy Commission agreed to allow the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to use a controversial alternative method for complying with the 2019 building energy efficiency codes. The CEC standards require all new single homes to have solar rooftops. SMUD got permission to allow builders to invest in community solar in place of […]

CPUC Rewards Utility Shareholders $43M for Energy Savings, Despite Concerns

27 Feb

Shareholders of three of the four investor-owned utilities were awarded more than $43 million for efficiency program savings funded by ratepayers, in a resolution passed by the California Public Utilities Commission. The awards, approved Feb 27 on a 4-1 vote, cover the 2017 to 2018 period. The lone opponent was Commissioner Marta Guzman Aceves, who […]

Shorts

26 Feb

Updated Feb. 27 The Department of Water Resources latest snow survey found the snow depth was 47% of the March average at the Phillips Station in South Lake Tahoe. The statewide snowpack depth was measured at 11 inches, or 46 percent of the March average. “Right now, 2020 is on track to be a below-average […]

Oregon Opposition Stalls FERC’s LNG Project OK

20 Feb

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Feb. 20 tentatively voted 2-1 against approving what would be the first LNG project on the West Coast. Commissioner Bernard McNamee voted against the export project at Coos Bay in Oregon along with Commissioner Rich Glick. New information about the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project was submitted by the […]

Energy Savings & Storage Gain Broad Backing From House Panel

13 Feb

Federal legislation to increase energy efficiency across various sectors and advance energy storage received wide support Feb. 12 from a House Energy & Commerce Committee subcommittee. Before the lawmakers were bipartisan bills to increase energy savings in the residential, industrial and commercial sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save consumers money and create jobs. Lawmakers […]

Shorts

11 Feb

SoCal Gas announced Feb. 11 that its customers saved $55.6 million in 2019 on their annual gas bills through utility energy efficiency programs. The reduced energy consumption avoided about 265,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 57,000 cars off of California roads for one year, according to SoCal Gas. […]

Climate Roundup: Feds Back Off from Antitrust Probe of Carmakers

10 Feb

The U.S Department of Justice halted its antitrust attack against the quartet of automakers that reached an agreement with California air regulators on greenhouse gas emission limits in new vehicle models. “With the shadow of this probe lifted, I look forward to more automakers joining this agreement and continuing the signal to the Administration that […]

Guest Juice: Is CA Trying to Kill the Community-Scale Generation Market?

10 Feb

The community-scale market segment has been plagued by ongoing policy neglect, and otherwise poor policy choices. Will policymakers heed the track record of demonstrated failure and finally create new programs that address previous problems? Ken Lund Flickr cc California, long a progressive leader on renewable energy and climate change mitigation, has neglected a key market […]

The Buzz

7 Feb

State energy regulators pay lip service to California’s mandate for the energy sector to be 100 percent clean and then approve the replacement of a 50-mile natural gas pipeline in San Diego. But, the Sempra utilities’ $677 million cost estimate for the project is to be examined. The House Energy & Commerce Committee takes aim […]

Spotlight on Cost of San Diego Gas Pipe Replacement

6 Feb

State energy regulators voted 4-0 to allow interested parties to litigate SoCal Gas’ and San Diego Gas’ & Electric’s proposed $677 million price tag for a 50-mile natural gas pipeline replacement project. The California Public Utilities Commission decision cast Feb 6 requires that the cost of the line’s replacement and testing be scrutinized in a […]

House Panel Airs the Benefits & Challenges of Capturing Carbon

6 Feb

Federal funding for the research and development of technologies to remove carbon emissions from the air and industrial facilities, turning it into viable products and storing it long term is needed to reach a carbon neutral economy by 2050, according to federal lawmakers. The issue also is the focus of a bipartisan House bill, Utilizing […]