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The Buzz

15 Aug

The California Public Utilities Commission says goodbye to President Mike Picker. The five commissioners also approve new decade-long energy efficiency targets and SDG&E’s $100 million heavy-duty vehicle electrification program. The California Independent System Operator gets a CEC pat on the back for being the new Reliability Coordinator. The Energy Commission also adopts impressive new rules […]

PG&E Tree Management Is Seriously Questioned

15 Aug

Pacific Gas & Electric was slammed for deficient training of contracted tree trimmers and inadequate vegetation management, including in high fire risk zones, by the federal court monitoring PG&E’s safety practices. The utility was put on probation by the court because of violations that led to the 2010 gas pipe blast in San Bruno. The […]

CA Sues U.S. EPA Over Clean Power Plan Repeal

13 Aug

California’s top lawyer Aug. 13  announced a suit challenging the Trump Administration’s “unlawful” and “toothless” replacement of the nation’s Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new “Affordable Clean Energy” rule, according to California Attorney Xavier Becerra, “fails everyone who stands for cleaner air.” He added that the Clean Power Plan’s far weaker replacement […]

The Buzz

27 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission announces it’s considering slapping penalties on PG&E for sparking huge wildfires in the fall of 2017. Earlier, state regulators unanimously approve a utility financial stress test with much consternation. They warn that the legislative mandate unfairly requires ratepayers to bail out utilities even if unacceptable behavior led to their wildfire liability. […]

Resolution of Spent Fuel Storage Remains Illusive

27 Jun

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee June 27 attempted again to break the stalemate on moving growing levels of spent nuclear waste stored onsite at power plants and elsewhere into one or more licensed long-term waste repositories. “Our nation’s nuclear industry is critically important, but also faces a number of challenges, and one […]

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 […]

The Buzz

14 Jun

A House Energy panel zeros in on federal legislation and tactics to resolve the troubling issue of long-term storage of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. Lawmakers also grapple with how to consolidate onsite spent fuel in 121 communities, including in Southern California and Sacramento. The day before, another House Energy & Commerce subcommittee tells […]

House Debates Nuclear Waste Bills

13 Jun

A House Energy & Commerce subcommittee June 13 debated how to restart the stalled effort to remove and consolidate stranded high-level radioactive waste kept onsite at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Rancho Seco in Sacramento and at 119 other sites across the nation. Three federal bills aiming to consolidate waste from nuclear plants were […]

Undercurrents

11 Jun

With temperatures set to soar last weekend, Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to 21,000 customers in Butte and Yuba counties for safety reasons at about 9:00 p.m. on June 8. In addition to safety shutoffs in the Sierra Foothills, PG&E turned off power to about 1,700 customers in Napa, Solano and Yolo Counties […]

Montali Rules FERC Has No Say over PG&E Power Deals

10 Jun

A federal bankruptcy court judge ruled in Pacific Gas & Electric’s favor on who controls the more than $40 billion in PG&E’s renewable and gas power purchase agreements. Judge Dennis Montali held that his court, not federal energy regulators, has say over the multi-million dollar deals signed by PG&E. The utility is in the midst […]

Undercurrents: CAISO Is New Western Reliability Coordinator

5 Jun

The North American Electric Reliability Corp. early this week approved the California Independent System Operator as the West’s new reliability coordinator. With NERC certification in hand, CAISO will begin offering reliability coordinator services to electricity balancing authorities across the western states and in part of Mexico on July 1. “The NERC certification is an important […]

The Buzz

2 May

PG&E’s first quarter earnings this year are far from rosy, but not as grim as expected. Earnings take an expected hit from wildfire, bankruptcy and safety expenses, which PG&E hopes to more than recoup from energy regulators and ultimately ratepayers. Southern California Edison’s parent earnings rise but that doesn’t stop its CEO from whining that […]

PG&E Earnings Fall

2 May

Pacific Gas & Electric Corp’s latest earnings show income that is one-third of what it reported a year earlier, falling to $136 million at the end of the first quarter of 2019, or 25 cents per share. That compares to $442 million in net income reaped a year earlier, or 86 cents a share. The […]

PG&E Bankruptcy Watch

17 Apr

The U.S. Trustee asked the court handling Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy proceeding to not allow the unsecured creditors’ committee to hire an investment banker because of potential conflicts of interest. In an April 15 filing, the U.S. Trustee warned the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California that Centerview Partners hides whether […]

Alternative Energy Bills Go Forward

2 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approved a small number of bills April 2, including ones to increase the savings of utility energy efficiency programs and expand fuels that can be used in qualifying biomass plants. The approved measures include SB 524 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Calabasas). It seeks to increase the energy savings […]

Bankruptcy Watch: Gov. Blasts PG&E Board Replacements

28 Mar

Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized Pacific Gas & Electric for its proposed new board members that include hedge fund managers and non-Californian executives. “With this move, PG&E would send a clear message that it is prioritizing quick profits for Wall Street over public safety and reliable and affordable energy service,” Newsom wrote in a March 28 […]

The Buzz

21 Mar

Two federal energy regulators warn of litigation risks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been creating with its deficient greenhouse gas impact assessments of commission-approved projects. California’s top lawyer throws his weight behind the Bay Area Cities climate change suit against the oil majors. Also, it is mixed messages from FERC. The right wing chief […]

Undercurrents: CA AG Backs Climate Change Suit Against Oil Firms

20 Mar

Updated March 21. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is supporting the City and County of San Francisco and City of Oakland’s lawsuit before the Ninth District Court of Appeals against the oil majors for their products’ emissions and resulting contribution to sea level rise. “Companies that reap the benefits of fossil fuels intensify the effects […]

PG&E’s Proposal to Break Green Deals Raises Costs

19 Mar

If Pacific Gas & Electric is allowed to abrogate its long-term renewable contracts as part of a bankruptcy reorganization, bankers will increase the risk premiums on clean energy project loans. That will drive up the price of renewable resources in California, attorneys warned at a legal seminar held March 18 by the Environmental Law Institute […]

JUICE: Bankruptcy Basics

12 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric’s unsurprising bankruptcy filing has rocked the energy utility industry, legislators and the state. Tens of billions of dollars are at stake, largely from what is now about 5,600 claims from wildfire victims. The amount of money and impact will soar if Southern California Edison also enters federal bankruptcy court. It faces […]