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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 […]

Joint House Panel Hears Young Voices on Climate

18 Sep

Climate change is “so important, but the aggravating thing is that there are so many people who still deny it,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) said at the opening of joint House hearing Wednesday. “Our generation has failed to adequately address our climate crisis,” the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs said. “It’s not fatal, […]

Shorts

16 Sep

Pacific Gas & Electric and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District joined a suit filed by six other utility companies across the country challenging the Trump Administration’s replacement of the Clean Power Plan. It sought to reduce coal power plant emissions. The utilities are part of a group called the Power Companies Climate Coalition, which filed […]

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 […]