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The US is Behind Rare Mineral Curve Big Time

17 Sep

The surge in renewable energy and electric vehicles highlights the risks of importing limited essential minerals from opaque markets, many in unstable regions, and the United States’ failure to compete in this area. “Batteries don’t work without lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel; solar panels require silver, gallium, indium, tellurium; and wind turbines are not just […]

PG&E Pitches $18B Reorganization Scheme

11 Sep

In order to exit bankruptcy court, Pacific Gas & Electric Sept. 9 proposed a $17.9 billion reorganization plan, which would limit wildfire claim payouts. The reorganization plan includes up to $8.4 billion for wildfire victims. Another $8.5 billion is included for insurance company claims. There’s also $1 billion for claims from cities and other public […]

SF Offers PG&E $2.5B for City Utility Assets

10 Sep

Prior to Pacific Gas & Electric filing its $18 billion reorganization proposal to exit bankruptcy, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission offered the utility $2.5 billion to take over its electric power system in the city. The offer includes folding in local PG&E utility employees who decide to work for any expanded San Francisco power […]

Scrap over Vehicle Emissions Intensifies

10 Sep

The Trump Administration is pulling out the stops to thwart California’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation Sept. 6 of the four automakers that reached a deal in late July with California to lower vehicle emissions on a voluntary basis, should existing standards be frozen […]

Shorts

9 Sep

Updated Sept. 12. A California Public Utilities Commission proposal seeks to improve reliability and drive down greenhouse gases from the energy sector. It was released just after the CPUC’s Sept. 12  business meeting. The proposed decision directs private utilities, community choice aggregators and direct access providers to buy 2,500 MW  to ensure power flow reliability […]

The Buzz

29 Aug

A newly amended bill that would make PG&E greener financially at ratepayers’ expense is floated. But, it may be headed for a crash landing. Another legislative action, one seeking a Constitutional Amendment, would make nuclear energy eligible for green status under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. The proposal seeks to bolster the financial prospects of the […]

Bill to Boost PG&E’$ Prospects a Lead Balloon?

29 Aug

A recently amended bill that would increase the financial burden on Pacific Gas & Electric ratepayers appears to have fizzled. AB 235 by Assemblymember Chad Mayes (R-Riverside), amended on Aug. 20, was said to allow PG&E to issue up to $20 billion in bonds to cover 2017-18 wildfire claims against the utility. The bonds would […]

Green Eggs and Nukes

28 Aug

A legislative resolution that would classify nuclear energy as a renewable resource under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard was introduced Aug. 28. There is only one nuclear plant in the state that would benefit from ACA 18 by Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo): Diablo Canyon. “Without Diablo’s power production, there is no viable path to […]

CA Circles Wagons on Clean Car Standards

21 Aug

State leaders closed ranks this week around a two-pronged strategy to preserve the state’s clean car standards. First, California Air Resources Board officials appear to have gotten Mercedes to join in a voluntary agreement between the state and automakers to continue reducing automotive greenhouse gas emissions. Second, the state Senate Environmental Quality Committee Aug. 21 […]

Coalition Fights Back on Building Decarbonization

20 Aug

Opponents of the drive to electrify buildings and end the use of natural gas for space and water heating and cooking rallied at the state capitol Aug. 20. They called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to support what they called “affordable clean energy solutions” instead of driving toward “all-electric” buildings. “California is in the middle of […]

CA Electricity Sector Emissions Fall Nearly 10%

13 Aug

Greenhouse gas emissions from California’s electricity sector in 2017 dropped 9 percent below 2016 levels, but overall emissions in the state fell only 1 percent. The decrease in electricity emissions was offset by rising emissions from the state’s transportation sector, which is the largest source of carbon gases in the Golden State. That is according […]

PG&E Sees Big Loss, Hedge Funds Offer $15B

12 Aug

Unlike California’s two other private utilities, massive wildfire claims caused Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. to lose a whopping $2.6 billion, according to its second quarter 2019 earnings report released Aug. 9. That loss, equating to a minus $4.95 per share, compares to a $984 million loss, or $1.98 a share, in the second quarter […]

Lawmakers to Deal with Wildfire Power Shutoff Fallout

7 Aug

When lawmakers return to Sacramento next week, they’ll face key votes on energy legislation dealing with how to provide backup power to meet critical community needs when power lines are shut down to prevent wildfires. Power shutoffs when winds blow can hamper crucial facilities, like water and communications systems, and affect the ability of residents […]

Shorts

5 Aug

Moody’s Investors Service upgraded San Diego Gas & Electric from a negative to a positive outlook July 31 based on improved fire safety programs at the utility and enactment of AB 1054, which sets up a new utility wildfire insurance fund. In a statement, the utility said it “has invested about $1.5 billion in a […]

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 […]