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Federal Car Emission Standards Rollback Gets Pushback

2 Apr

The Trump Administration’s final rule allowing higher emissions from new cars and small trucks suffered a couple of blows this week. A federal appeals court April 1 said it could not justify why the governing federal agencies hid underlying modelling details of the effect of the weaker emissions standards for vehicles with model years 2021-26. […]

Montali Rejects Suit Seeking Damages for Utility Shutoffs

1 Apr

A victim of the five power shutoffs during wind storms late last year unsuccessfully sought to bring a class action suit against Pacific Gas & Electric for associated damage from the loss of electricity. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali dismissed the $2.5 billion claim on grounds that the California Public Utilities Commission sets shutoff guidelines […]

Federal Clean Car Rules Officially Weakened

31 Mar

The Trump Administration followed through on its threat to rollback emission standards on new vehicles and small trucks, harming California’s and other states’ efforts to reduce climate pollution from the transportation sector. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued their final rule weakening fuel economy standards March 31. Annual carbon […]

Examples of Force Majeure Contract Clauses

31 Mar

The first sample is a Force Majeure provision in PG&E’s 2017 Photovoltaic Request for Offer standard contract: It states that Force Majeure “means any event or circumstance which wholly or partly prevents or delays the performance of any material obligation arising under this Agreement, but only if and to the extent (i) such event is […]

JUICE: Major Forces

31 Mar

The COVID-19 contagion is putting center stage provisions in power purchase agreements that often sit in the wings: those governing the responsibilities and liabilities of the contracting parties, and the timing of their obligations, when an unforeseen disaster or Act of God hits. These “force majeure” clauses, which may include pandemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and war, […]

PG&E Won’t Use Victim Fund to Pay Criminal Penalty

31 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric did an about face in response to outrage from the fire victims committee that it planned to dip into the $13.5 billion wildfire victim fund to pay its $4 million penalty for 85 criminal charges arising from igniting the 2018 Camp Fire. The company pled guilty March 17 to felony charges, […]

PG&E Pleads Guilty to Criminal Counts in Camp Fire, Fights $2.1B Penalty

23 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric pled guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one of illegally starting the devastating 2018 Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, according to its March 23 Securities & Exchange Commission filing. The company agreed to pay $3.5 million in fines, as well as $500 million for the Butte […]

Possible Sale of PG&E under Deal with Newsom

20 Mar

Under an agreement reached with Gov. Gavin Newsom announced late Friday, Pacific Gas & Electric agrees the state or another entity could buy the company if it fails to exit bankruptcy by June 30. Under the deal filed March 20 in federal Bankruptcy Court, PG&E commits to selling the utility “in the unlikely circumstance” its […]

The Buzz

19 Mar

The pandemic has slowed down solar projects but there is an unprecedented increase in new installed capacity in 2019. This year and future ones may be a different story but solar proponents expect solar capacity to keep rising in and outside California over the long haul. Large intermittent renewable generation paired with storage provides more […]

Court Signs Off on Part of PG&E Reorganization Plan

17 Mar

The U.S Bankruptcy Court approved nearly $20 billion in equity and debt financing as part of Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to exit Chapter 11 proceedings by June 30. The approval came during a March 16 telephonic hearing. The power company will be allowed to enter into $10.83 billion in debt financing, and issue $9 […]

CA-Quebec Auction Produces Welcome Results Amid Trump Challenge

16 Mar

A federal judge rejected an initial attempt to break up the California-Quebec carbon credit trading market. The market allows carbon emitters in the state and province to take advantage of efficiencies in reducing pollution. The decision came on the heels of a successful auction round concluded Feb. 26. Late last week, Federal District Court Judge […]

Shorts

26 Feb

Updated Feb. 27 The Department of Water Resources latest snow survey found the snow depth was 47% of the March average at the Phillips Station in South Lake Tahoe. The statewide snowpack depth was measured at 11 inches, or 46 percent of the March average. “Right now, 2020 is on track to be a below-average […]

Clean Economy Hopes & Hurdles Highlighted in IEPR Report

25 Feb

California has successfully decoupled economic growth from energy consumption, a fact highlighted in the new Integrated Energy Policy Report by the California Energy Commission. That’s an indicator that California can attain carbon neutrality before midcentury. But the report says much more work is needed to get there. Between 2000 and 2018, California’s gross state product […]

PG&E Suffers Big Loss in 2019

24 Feb

PG&E Corp. suffered a larger loss in net income last year than in the previous year. However, its 4th quarter loss for 2019 was about half the size of its 2018 fourth quarter hit. In its latest earnings report, the parent company reported a loss of $7.7 billion, at minus $14.50 a share, for 2019. […]

House Panel Debates the Impacts of FERC’s Gas Project Permits

5 Feb

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came under fire for the number of natural gas pipeline permits approved and the basis of those decisions, during a Feb. 5 House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on modernizing the Natural Gas Act. The commission was criticized for running roughshod over landowners’ rights, ignoring the greenhouse gas impacts of […]

PG&E-Bondholder Deal Gets Judge’s Vote

4 Feb

The federal judge in the PG&E bankruptcy proceeding approved the settlement proposed by the utility, after listening to arguments from the sole opponent, a wildfire victim. Before announcing his decision Feb. 4, Judge Dennis Montali asked William Abrams the ramifications to fire victims, creditors and others if he were to reject PG&E’s nearly $60 billion […]

Shorts

30 Jan

The proverbial champagne bottle was broken Jan. 30 on a new compressed renewable natural gas fueling station by SoCal Gas and the mayor of Bakersfield. The station serves gas to trucks and cars made from methane, including that captured from dairy digestors in the Central Valley.  “As one of the most important food and dairy […]

PG&E Refinancing Plan Appears to be Last One Standing

23 Jan

A reorganization plan proposed by bondholders of Pacific Gas & Electric that competes with the utility’s own proposal will disappear if certain financing conditions are met, PG&E announced late Wednesday. “Reaching a resolution with the bondholder group is a positive development to move forward with our plan of reorganization,” PG&E Corp. Chief Executive Officer and […]

Key Deadline Set for PG&E to Close Bankruptcy Door

21 Jan

A federal judge set a deadline for a crucial hearing in the Pacific Gas & Electric’s financial reorganization, further solidifying the calendar for the utility’s emergence from bankruptcy. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California last week directed a status conference be held no later than Jan. 29. That date marks one […]

The Buzz

16 Jan

State energy regulators give Southern California Edison the green light to collect $4.7 billion for projected 2020 energy costs during their first meeting of the year. The California Public Utilities Commission also votes unanimously to dedicate most of the Self Generation Incentive Program rebates to energy storage in fire-stressed communities. In addition, the commission approves […]