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JUICE: Infrastructure Must Be Adapted to Changing Climate

1 Aug

Now that California has reauthorized its carbon cap-and-trade program and Gov. Jerry Brown has engraved his legacy as the nation’s global warming fighter in chief, it’s time for a sober moment after last week’s celebrations. Catastrophic warming—and all it entails—is happening faster than projected just a few years ago. It can’t be halted, even if […]

New Laws Add IRP Exemption & Require Testing of Hospital Generators

1 Aug

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into a law a bill exempting electric coops from having to develop integrated resource plans and another measure requiring hospitals to maintain their diesel backup generators. Brown on July 31 signed AB 759 by Assemblymember Brian Dahle (R-Bieber). It exempts three rural electric cooperatives from the integrated resource plan mandate under […]

Juice: Too Much of a Good Thing

26 Jul

The California Solar Initiative spent $2.1 billion of energy utility ratepayer funds to add nearly 2,000 MW of new solar rooftops over ten years by 2016. Today, it is seen as a model for how to advance other alternative energy technologies. The solar initiative, developed by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2005, offered rebates […]

Carbon Trading Program to 2030 Is Official

25 Jul

On Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation to continue California’s carbon cap-and-trade program 10 years through 2030. The July 25 signing on the windy island, created by landfill, was at the same site where former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger 11 years earlier signed AB 32, California’s climate protection law. […]

Shorts

25 Jul

Marin Clean Energy voted to nearly double the number of its customers. The board of California’s first community energy organization approved admitting Contra Costa County, Concord, San Ramon, Pittsburg and five smaller municipalities into its service area. “So we’ve now got 33 communities in total,” Dawn Weisz, MCE executive officer, said July 21. Marin’s customer […]

CA Grid in Flux, Picker Notes

20 Jul

State energy policy stands “at a unique point in time” with the chief goal ahead being to figure out the right mix of fossil fuel resources needed to keep power affordable and reliable, California’s top utility regulator told an Assembly committee July 19. California Public Utilities Commission President Mike Picker told the Assembly Utilities & […]

JUICE: Scaling CA’s Zero Carbon Summit

19 Jul

Politicians are to rope up next month and set the path for climbing to a 100 percent renewable/zero emissions energy peak under legislation proposed by the leader of California’s Senate. Investor-owned utilities and several public utilities warn about reliability and cost crevasses that may open beneath them on the trek under SB 100 by Senate […]

Legislation Sends Edison Penalty to Long Beach

19 Jul

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee July 18 passed a bill that would direct a $4 million penalty slapped on Southern California Edison for blackouts in Long Beach in 2015 to the city. SB 174 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) would keep the penalty issued by the California Public Utilities Commission from going […]

Cap & Trade Extension Soon to Become Law

18 Jul

The legislative package to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to 2030 was sent to the governor’s desk July 17 after both the Senate and Assembly passed the two bills with Republican support that enabled a two-thirds majority. AB 398 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) was approved on a 28-12 vote on the Senate Floor and […]

The Buzz

14 Jul

The governor’s carbon cap-and-trade renewable legislation passes through a Senate panel after a six-hour hearing in which environmental justice activists and local and regional air districts denounced the measure. The oil company-friendly bill package was introduced Monday. Gov. Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade deal appears to be more about cementing his legacy than it is about improving […]

Cap & Trade Bill Passes Key Panel In Spite of Heavy Opposition

13 Jul

Three days after new legislation to extend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program another 10 years was introduced, the Senate Environmental Quality Committee passed it over objections by Republicans, environmental justice advocates and regional air regulators. The July 13 vote came after Gov. Jerry Brown, in a rare appearance of a sitting state chief executive before […]

100% Renewable Bill Sails Ahead

13 Jul

Legislation setting a 100 percent renewable standard by 2045 advanced this week in the Assembly. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee passed SB 100 by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León July 12 on a 10-4 vote. The next day on July 13, the bill also gained approval by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee […]

Juice: Brown’s Hollow Cap & Trade Bills

12 Jul

In his haste to secure his legacy as the world’s top greenhouse gas fighter, Gov. Jerry Brown this week threw the state’s environmental justice communities and advocates under the bus. In order to get the Legislature to renew the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program—the state’s hood ornament of environmental righteousness—Brown crafted a climate bill package that […]

Climate Roundup: Brown & Bloomberg Team Up on Emissions Tracking

12 Jul

Gov. Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg launched America’s Pledge on climate change July 12, which aims to compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses in the U.S. to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions. “Today we’re sending a clear message to the world that America’s states, cities and businesses are moving forward […]

Revised Cap-&-Trade Bill Eases Overall Compliance

11 Jul

The newest bill to extend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program 10 years beyond 2020 eliminates regional air quality regulators’ authority to limit greenhouse gases from oil refineries and other major stationary emission sources, sets a ceiling but no floor on the price of tradable allowances and limits use of carbon offsets. The bill, AB 398 […]

The Buzz

7 Jul

Taking the “dis” out of disadvantaged communities was center stage for lawmakers and regulators this week.  Reversing the trend of rising climate emissions and co-pollutants in poor local neighborhoods was the focus of a joint legislative Climate Change Policy panel.  Meanwhile, the CPUC zeroed in on making environmental justice  energy programs just. The Utilities & […]

Cap-&-Trade Impacts Poor Neighborhoods

6 Jul

How to ensure both greenhouse gases and toxic air pollutants are reduced in struggling polluted communities was the focus of a Joint Legislative Climate Change Policies Committee hearing held July 5. The panel members seek “to understand what is happening, and what work needs to be done,” said chair Assemblymember Edward Garcia (D-Coachella). While overall […]

Energy Bills Increasing Data Access & Decreasing New Plants Pass

6 Jul

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee approved two bills midweek that seek to expand public access to energy data and avoid ratepayer investments in unneeded expansions of the traditional fossil-fueled power system. SB 356 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), which aims to increase web access to energy information, passed on a 9-4 vote in spite […]

Agencies Seek to Get a Grip on Self Generation

3 Jul

State energy agencies and the grid operator are grappling with how to forecast and better measure growing levels of distributed renewable energy flowing into the distribution and transmission systems. Unlike the high voltage system, power flows to and from lower voltage power lines are less transparent. No “adequate methods exist” for forecasting how distributed energy […]

CA Supreme Court Rejects Review of Cap-&-Trade

29 Jun

California’s carbon cap-and-trade program is bona fide until the end of the decade. The state Supreme Court June 28 denied two petitions to hear a legal challenge to the California Air Resources Board greenhouse gas emissions trading program. “Today’s decision helps clear the way for California to continue its ambitious, globally significant climate leadership, and […]