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The Buzz

26 Mar

Incessant telephonic disruptions don’t stop state regulators from approving 25,000 MW of new clean energy projects to cut the sector’s emission to 46 megatons of carbon emissions by 2030.  Also during their challenging public telephone business meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously okays $200 million in building decarbonization pilots. It also extends a multi-million […]

PG&E Pleads Guilty to Criminal Counts in Camp Fire, Fights $2.1B Penalty

23 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric pled guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one of illegally starting the devastating 2018 Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, according to its March 23 Securities & Exchange Commission filing. The company agreed to pay $3.5 million in fines, as well as $500 million for the Butte […]

Possible Sale of PG&E under Deal with Newsom

20 Mar

Under an agreement reached with Gov. Gavin Newsom announced late Friday, Pacific Gas & Electric agrees the state or another entity could buy the company if it fails to exit bankruptcy by June 30. Under the deal filed March 20 in federal Bankruptcy Court, PG&E commits to selling the utility “in the unlikely circumstance” its […]

Court Signs Off on Part of PG&E Reorganization Plan

17 Mar

The U.S Bankruptcy Court approved nearly $20 billion in equity and debt financing as part of Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to exit Chapter 11 proceedings by June 30. The approval came during a March 16 telephonic hearing. The power company will be allowed to enter into $10.83 billion in debt financing, and issue $9 […]

State and Federal Meeting Updates during Covid-19 Pandemic

16 Mar

Updated Friday. Changes in italics. The following are the latest changes to previously scheduled meetings, in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order limiting the number of people at gatherings, and local agency dictates. The California Public Utilities Commission cancelled all its public hearings on increasing electric rates pursuant to Phase One of Southern California […]

The Buzz

12 Mar

The rising threat of the new coronavirus gets state and federal agencies in gear.  A few days earlier, regulators and other energy entities don’t agree on how to respond. The state grid operator is the first to take major precautions, discontinuing its in-person meetings to thwart the possible spread of COVID-19 pathogens. With no fanfare, […]

Agencies Get More Serious About COVID-19

12 Mar

What a difference a few days makes. Regulatory agencies are now aligned in their concern over the coronavirus, a week after the state grid operator announced it was discontinuing its in-person meetings and interactions to minimize the spread of the  disease. The California Public Utilities Commission held its March 12 business meeting as usual but […]

The Buzz

6 Mar

State lawmakers ask the private utilities hard questions about the new wildfire mitigation plans’ impacts on ratepayer pocketbooks and safety. Legislators also introduce new bills to keep PG&E et al from writing off penalties for safety violations. Other measures seek to increase the flow of renewable resources into utility grids and vehicles. To help close […]

Bills Keep Utilities from Benefiting from Wildfire Penalties, Promote Clean Power

5 Mar

Even before Pacific Gas & Electric was hit last Thursday with a $2.14 billion penalty for sparking devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018, a bill was introduced to prohibit the utility from deducting it or other safety penalties from its tax liability. It would be “obscene” to allow PG&E to take a tax deduction on […]

Utility Wildfire Plans Raise Cost and Safety Issues

5 Mar

The cost to ratepayers and how soon fire protections will be in place are key concerns for lawmakers reviewing new billion dollar-plus wildfire plans submitted by the private utilities. The three utility 2020 prevention plans will raise rates, but there’s currently no way to figure out how much, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) said during a […]

The Buzz

28 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric is hit with a historic fine of $2.14 billion for igniting deadly wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018. It comes a few days after PG&E reports significant losses in its 2019 earnings report. The private utilities in the southern half of the state fare far better. Southern California Edison, […]

SoCal Utilities Report Surge in Profit

27 Feb

The parent companies of the investor-owned utilities in Southern California reported rosy 2019 earnings, in contrast to Pacific Gas & Electric. The latter continued to suffer major losses while striving to reorganize and emerge from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Edison International is the parent company of Southern California Edison. Sempra Energy is the parent company […]

New PG&E Exit Fee More than Doubles CCAs Tab

27 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 27 unanimously approved big hikes in the exit fees community choice aggregators must pay to Pacific Gas & Electric. The Commission’s 5-0 vote was cast with no discussion. Community choice organizations whose customers left PG&E to join CCA programs in 2017 and 2018 will see roughly 60% increase in […]

Edison Asks for More Money for Wildfire Mitigation

18 Feb

A new plan to address wildfires submitted by Southern California Edison asks state authorities for an additional $322 million to prevent utility line sparked fires over what it requested just three months ago in its general rate case. The total is $3.823 billion to mitigate blazes over three years. Edison submitted its 2020-2022 wildfire management […]

The Buzz

14 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric offers its nuclear energy to community choice. But it is a hot potato, particularly for East Bay Clean Energy. Local green energy advocates give it a lot of heat for considering the matter. Bets are that extracting lithium from the steamy brine of geothermal plants in the mineral-rich Salton Sea will […]

New Bill Seeks to Limit Private Utility Lobbying

12 Feb

State legislation was introduced that would significantly reduce the size of investor-owned utilities political contributions to campaign coffers. AB 2079 by Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Placer) would restrict contributions from Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to $3,000 per political campaign under proposed revisions to the state’s Political Reform […]

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 […]

CA Must Accelerate Climate Protection Strategies, Air Board Head Says

5 Feb

California legislators learned during a second annual update on greenhouse gas pollution that the state continues to struggle with increased emissions from driving. Another ongoing challenge is how to protect fragile forests that capture carbon. Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said to expect “new and more aggressive strategies” to shift drivers […]

PG&E-Bondholder Deal Gets Judge’s Vote

4 Feb

The federal judge in the PG&E bankruptcy proceeding approved the settlement proposed by the utility, after listening to arguments from the sole opponent, a wildfire victim. Before announcing his decision Feb. 4, Judge Dennis Montali asked William Abrams the ramifications to fire victims, creditors and others if he were to reject PG&E’s nearly $60 billion […]