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Juice: Batjer Takes Over Mistrusted Agency

16 Jul

Marybel Batjer will have a tough row to hoe when she takes over as president of the California Public Utilities Commission later this summer. She will lead the commission at a time of uncertainty as it faces flagging credibility with the public and lawmakers. She also will inherit an agency that faces a diminishing role […]

Shorts

16 Jul

Updated July 18. The California Energy Commission’s clean transportation program to date has provided $830 million in funding, with most of the money targeted at advancing the use of electric vehicles, according to a summary presented at a commission meeting on the program’s accomplishments July 18. In the clean vehicle infrastructure area, CEC has provided […]

Batjer to Head CPUC

15 Jul

Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Marybel Batjer as president of the California Public Utilities Commission July 12. He also signed utility wildfire liability reform legislation hurried through the Legislature last week. “Marybel’s deep experience in government administration and sound judgment make her uniquely qualified to take on this important role,” said Newsom. “I am confident she […]

Newsom Set to Sign Utility Wildfire Bill

11 Jul

Major utility wildfire liability legislation is on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign into law after the Assembly July 11 passed AB 1054 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) on an overwhelming 63-8 vote. Holden’s measure, which is modeled after concepts developed by the Newsom Administration, will create a new state-run wildfire insurance fund […]

Lawmakers Direct CPUC to Press State Goals in PG&E Bankruptcy

10 Jul

A Senate panel backed a legislative resolution July 10 that calls on the California Public Utilities Commission to work to protect public and state interests in Pacific Gas & Electric’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. The move came just days after the utility began notifying creditors that the deadline for filing claims against it was approaching. […]

CCAs Prevail on Central Procurement Legislation

10 Jul

In the face of stiff and broad-based opposition, a state Senate committee July 10 declined to advance a bill to create a central power procurement authority to meet resource adequacy requirements. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) could not muster the seven votes required to get his bill, AB 56, through the Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications […]

Newsom & Other Governors Call for Strong Car Standards

9 Jul

Gov. Gavin Newsom joined with 23 governors to call for maintaining tight federal clean car standards July 9 in the face of a proposed rollback of existing federal requirements by the Trump Administration. “Flawed federal policy is forcing motorists to pay more at the pump, get worse gas mileage, and breathe dirtier air,” said Newsom. […]

Juice: Staving Off Chaos

9 Jul

Lawmakers are rolling the dice in Sacramento this week, betting that legislation to set up a state-run wildfire insurance fund for California’s financially beleaguered investor-owned electric utilities will resolve damages stemming from past utility-sparked fires plus stave off major conflagrations in the decade ahead. The measure, AB 1054, will establish a state insurance fund for […]

Senate Backs Newsom’s Wildfire Proposal

8 Jul

Updated July 9, 2019. The state Senate late on July 8 passed a  bill to set up a $40 billion wildfire fund to stabilize the state’s investor-owned utilities and to bankroll payouts to victims of past utility-sparked fires. Passage came after earlier in the afternoon the Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee approved the measure, […]

The Buzz

3 Jul

Expected legislation incorporating the Governor’s wish list for a catastrophic wildfire recovery fund to bail out private utilities facing big liabilities is to get its first airing July 5. The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approves bills shifting the cost of supply shortages to energy providers that fall short  and increasing the efficiency of […]

Bill Proposes Utility Wildfire Recovery Fund

3 Jul

New amendments to AB 1054 this week would create a multi-billion dollar wildfire liability fund backed principally by ratepayer money, as pushed by the governor. The measure by Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) proposes a $10.5 billion revolving liquidity fund to cover private utility liabilities stemming from fires their equipment may […]

CA & Canada Join Forces on Cleaner Cars

1 Jul

California and Canada agreed to work together to develop vehicle tailpipe emission standards that are more stringent than the ones the Golden State has in place, which are being challenged by the Trump Administration. The memorandum of understanding signed last week also includes commitments by the two major economies to advance the adoption of electric […]

CPUC to Investigate SoCal Gas Safety

27 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission June 27 launched an investigation into the safety cultures of SoCal Gas and its parent company following large and small gas pipeline explosions and leaks since 2015. “There are significant questions about SoCal Gas’ safety practices and priorities,” said Commissioner Liane Randolph. She pointed to a report released mid-May on […]

Shorts

27 Jun

Updated June 27 The California Air Resources Board adopted certification regulations for heavy duty electric and fuel cell vehicle powertrains. They aim to increase transparency, reliability and reparability of the vehicles. The powertrain rules, approved June 27, also seek to protect the state’s investment in heavy duty alternative vehicle technologies and consumers. That state has […]

Wildfire Risk Reduction Bills Pass

26 Jun

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee on Wednesday approved bills seeking to reduce the risk of utility-sparked wildfires and ensure that all energy providers meet state renewable requirements and follow their integrated resource plans. At a June 26 hearing, the committee passed SB 247, which would give CalFire authority over the utilities’ mandated wildfire safety […]

PG&E Creditors Propose $30B Reorganization Plan

26 Jun

A group of Pacific Gas & Electric bondholders and unsecured creditors are pushing a $30 billion financial health plan for the bankrupt utility that would be backed principally by new equity. The plan filed by the Ad Hoc Committee of Unsecured Noteholders June 25 asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Dennis Montali to end ahead of […]

JUICE: Clean Car & Air Chaos

25 Jun

If President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to yank California’s authority to enact automotive emissions and fuel efficiency standards that are tighter than federal requirements, the work of the Golden State and utilities here to promote electric vehicles and develop charging infrastructure will be jeopardized. Not only will California’s climate change goals be […]

Bills Address Solar Systems in Wildfire Areas

18 Jun

The state Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee advanced two bills dealing with electricity and wildfires on June 18. One measure, AB 178 by Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), would exempt fire victims rebuilding their homes from a state requirement to put solar panels on their roofs. Dahle said his bill, which was opposed by environmental […]

Shorts

13 Jun

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee backed extending the time renewable gas projects can tap into state incentives covering 50 percent of their interconnection costs this week. On a 14-0 vote, the panel approved SB 547 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego). The bill extends by five years to Dec, 31, 2026, the date by […]

S&P Pressures Sen. Wildfire Panel on Strict Liability

11 Jun

The Senate Select Committee on the Governor’s 2019 Report: Wildfires & Climate Change was warned that the credit rating agencies would further downgrade the investor-owned utilities if the state’s strict liability standard applied to utility equipment-sparked wildfires remained on the books. Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) waived a letter from Standard & Poor’s during a […]