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LADWP Faces Federal Complaint Over 2017 Wildfire

9 Dec

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power last week denied that its equipment started the destructive Creek Fire, which ignited in the Angeles National Forest on Dec. 5, 2017. The muni issued the denial after the federal government filed a court complaint against the muni seeking to recover $40 million in firefighting costs. The […]

PG&E Says It’s Settled All Fire Claims

9 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric late last week resolved the last of the major wildfire claims against it, potentially clearing the way for it to finalize a bankruptcy reorganization plan. PG&E on Dec. 6 agreed to a $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire victims. Under the deal with the Official Committee of Tort Claimants and firms representing […]

The Buzz

5 Dec

A carbon tax is the talk of the town this week. Republican members of a House panel insist it would be a cost without a benefit because global action is critical. In response, their Democratic brethren chastise them for not partaking in the ongoing UN climate talks. Solar-powered microgrids paired with battery storage can keep […]

PG&E Update: CPUC Division Finds Utility Equipment Inspections Shoddy

3 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division found that a faulty hook on a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission tower, which initially sparked the 2018 Camp Fire, was a known hazard. The fire burned down the City of Paradise. The safety division also found the worn tower that started the Camp Fire was […]

Shorts

2 Dec

Updated Dec. 5 The California Air Resources Board Dec. 5 adopted rules that seek to reduce carbon and toxic air emissions at California’s major ports. The regulations were driven by the serious health impacts on overburdened, low-income communities surrounding the areas. The new standards focus on emission reductions from berthed ships and other vessels. One […]

Senators Object to Utility Safety Outages

19 Nov

Shortly after Pacific Gas & Electric warned it may cut off power to about 800,000 people later this week in the face of a red flag wind advisory, lawmakers focused on ways to curb the number, duration and impact of utility power shutoffs. PG&E warned the morning of Nov. 18 that customers in some 22 […]

The Buzz

7 Nov

The liability boulder around Pacific Gas & Electric’s neck may thwart its rescue by the federal bankruptcy court, its latest earnings report warnd. Meanwhile, the push for a public takeover of PG&E intensifies. State energy regulators unanimously approve requiring utilities, community choice and other providers to line up an additional 3,300 MW of energy reserves. […]

PG&E’s in Critical Condition, Earnings Report Warns

7 Nov

Pacific Gas & Electric Nov. 7 reported a whopping and unprecedented loss of $1.62 billion. Its third quarter earnings report, released without the standard accompaniment of a call with financial analysts, also stated that the company’s financial situation is in dire straits and that it faces a very uncertain future. PG&E Corp. and the utility […]

CA Sues Feds for Weakening Lighting Savings Rules

6 Nov

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Nov. 4 joined with 17 other state attorneys general to sue the U.S. Department of Energy for watering down efficiency standards for certain light bulbs. The petition, Becerra said, seeks “to block the Department of Energy from pushing a foolish agenda that prioritizes outdated, polluting technology over the needs of […]

Democrats Object to FERC Appointee Hearing

5 Nov

In spite of no action by the White House on the unfilled Democratic seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee Nov. 5 vetted Republican FERC nominee James Danly. Committee Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said it was acceptable to hold the hearing because President Donald Trump had […]

Trump Goes after CA-Quebec Cap & Trade Deal

23 Oct

The U.S. Department of Justice Oct. 23 sued to dismantle California’s carbon cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec on grounds it is unconstitutional. “California’s unlawful cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec undermines the President’s ability to negotiate competitive agreements with other nations, as the President sees fit,” asserts the DOJ’s complaint. The civil lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District […]

JUICE: Piecing Together the Outage News Puzzles

22 Oct

I live in Alameda County in Northern California, while my co-editor Bill Kelly lives in Los Angeles County. This allows us to compare and contrast news coverage and public responses to energy happenings in our regions. Of late, we’ve focused on the fires and outages caused by the incumbent investor-owned utilities in our parts of […]

Shorts

14 Oct

Updated Oct. 17. The California Independent System Operator upgraded its power grid operating technology last week, saying it now has the most advanced system in the industry. CAISO launched the Siemens Spectrum PowerTM 7 energy management system after five years of study, competitive bidding, design, and implementation. “CAISO now has the most sophisticated energy management […]

PG&E Launches Major Outages, Lines up $35B in Financing

8 Oct

Updated Oct. 10 Pacific Gas & Electric instituted power shutoffs across large swaths of California because of high fire danger midweek. Earlier, it unsuccessfully urged the federal bankruptcy court to hose an unwelcome reorganization proposal. Starting around midnight on Wednesday, PG&E began shutting off power to 800,000 customers. The shutoffs began in the counties in […]

High Court Won’t Hear SDG&E’s Strict Liability Challenge

7 Oct

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear San Diego Gas & Electric’s argument that California regulators’ refusal to have ratepayers pay $379 million of the utility’s 2007 wildfire costs violated the Constitutional ban on unlawful takings. The utility said Oct. 7 it was “disappointed” that the High Court rejected its petition regarding its Wildfire Expense […]

Group Seeks to Halt SONGS Decommissioning

30 Sep

Public Watchdogs filed suit Sept. 26 asking a federal judge to halt the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station decommissioning process. It wants the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to issue a temporary restraining order, appoint an independent monitor and declare that the decommissioning plan “constitutes a public nuisance.” It also wants […]

Bond Holders Take 2nd Shot at PG&E Reorg Plan

26 Sep

Hedge funds, other unsecured note holders, and tort claimants, together on Sept. 25 pitched a revised reorganization plan to get Pacific Gas & Electric out of bankruptcy on the group’s terms. The filing by these major stakeholders, made late Wednesday, also asks the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Northern California a second time to terminate PG&E’s […]

PG&E Folds New Deal into its Reorganization Plan

23 Sep

Pacific Gas & Electric Sept. 23 finalized a $14 billion settlement that includes the $11 billion agreement reached last week with insurance firms for damage claims from the PG&E equipment-sparked 2017 Northern California wildfires and 2018 Camp Fire. The final $14 billion agreement also includes a $1 billion deal reached with 18 local public entities […]

The Buzz

19 Sep

Trump’s claim that California’s Clean Air Act waiver is preempted by federal law drives state air regulators to look at other ways to slash climate pollution from the transportation sector. Two Republican federal energy regulators approve a proposal to alter the 40-year old law protecting small renewable projects and co-generation. The dissenting Democratic commissioner says […]

ARB Seeks Emissions Cuts Elsewhere, w/ CA Waiver Revoked

19 Sep

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration yanked California’s ability to set vehicle emission standards tighter than federal ones, as promised. The Sept. 18 revocation of the state’s waiver authority under the federal Clean Air Act also undermines California’s zero emissions vehicle program, further undermining its climate protection work. Mary […]