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Climate Roundup: CA Spending Plan for Carbon Auction Money is Law

19 Sep

Gov. Jerry Brown quickly signed into law two bills, AB 109 and AB 134, which appropriate $1.6 billion in state carbon cap-and-trade auction revenue this fiscal year. The money will go largely to projects aimed at advancing conversion of the transportation sector to electric technology. The spending package also will help sequester carbon in vegetation […]

Undercurrents: CA Sues Feds for Halting Penalty Increase for Fuel Efficiency Violations

12 Sep

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against the Trump Administration Sept. 11 for delaying a rule increasing the fine on car manufacturers that fail to meet federal fuel efficiency standards. “More fuel-efficient cars on our roads means cleaner air, better overall health for our children, and savings at the pump for consumers,” Becerra said. “We will […]

The Buzz

31 Aug

A week that began with record heat and a near record demand for power ends even hotter with a forecast of a new all-time record peak demand for electricity in California. The grid operator calls for conservation. PG&E calls for flashlights. Decentralized solar energy coupled with storage and smart controls can lower the cost of […]

Undercurrents: SONGS Onsite Waste Suit Settled

30 Aug

A settlement of the lawsuit over expanding onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Station was reached Aug. 28. “A cooperative effort between the public, independent experts and Southern California Edison has begun and will continue until the nuclear waste is removed from San Diego,” said attorney Michael Aguirre, representing plaintiff […]

Climate Roundup: Tar Sands Fuel Protest in Richmond

1 Aug

Protestors July 31 blockaded an oil terminal in Richmond along San Francisco Bay because it’s expected to receive Canadian tar sands. “This is the second week in a row that activists are blockading this facility — and you can expect protests up and down the West Coast as banks and oil companies continue to try […]

SoCal Gas Restarts Aliso Canyon Operations

1 Aug

SoCal Gas July 31 began injecting gas into its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field in the Los Angeles area for the first time since a well blowout lead to a giant methane leak in 2015, forcing its closure. The utility notified residents of Porter Ranch and the San Fernando Valley that it had resumed […]

Climate Roundup: Air Board Adopts Rules to Extend Cap & Trade Program

27 Jul

The California Air Resources Board July 27 adopted amendments to its carbon cap-and-trade rules to extend the emissions trading program beyond 2020, allow the state’s carbon market to link to a carbon market in Ontario, Canada, and improve oversight of the market. The board also promised to begin a rulemaking before the end of the […]

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 […]

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 & […]

Climate Roundup: Brown to Hold World Climate Meeting

3 Jul

Editor’s Note: Updated July 6 Gov. Jerry Brown announced July 6 he is convening  a global climate action summit in San Francisco, CA. It is planned for September 2018. “It’s up to you and it’s up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Sued for Refinery Blackout

3 Jul

Valero Refinery is suing Pacific Gas & Electric for $75 million in damages for a May 5 power outage at its Benicia refinery. The June 30 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of California charges PG&E with breach of contract and negligence for failing to provide uninterrupted power— primary and […]

Shorts

3 Jul

Volvo will sell only hybrid and pure electric powered vehicles beginning in 2019. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs,” Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president and chief executive, stated July 5. Volvo announced it will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021. The car […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: San Juan Capistrano Challenges the CPUC’s Approval of SDG&E Project

27 Jun

Editor’s Note: this article was updated June 29. The City of San Juan Capistrano filed suit against the California Public Utilities Commission for approving San Diego Gas & Electric’s South Orange County transmission upgrade project last December. The city claims the project, which would add $400 million to the ratebase, is not needed for reliability […]

Regional Air Board Postpones Vote on Oil Refineries Carbon Cap

22 Jun

After Bay Area regulators announced in late May they were taking the bold step of capping greenhouse gases from regional oil refineries, controversy over last-minute revisions killed support for the emissions ceiling midweek. During a testy June 21 meeting of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, a staff revision to loosen the limit and […]

Climate Roundup: Renewable Gas & Higher RPS Are Pricey Options

21 Jun

Renewable natural gas and increasing the state’s 50 percent renewable portfolio standard are the two most expensive options for cutting greenhouse gas emissions under consideration in Sacramento, according to an analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office. LAO ranked the cost per ton of emissions reduction for a variety of measures. It found that adopting a […]

Shorts

21 Jun

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia June 20 upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of PJM’s revised electricity rules for the capacity market. The rules, approved by FERC in June of 2015, add higher penalties for non-performance and an increased cost cap. “Procurements in solar, wind, and demand response fell […]

Climate Roundup: Yanking of Methane Rule Challenged

6 Jun

A coalition of environmental groups brought a lawsuit June 5 to stop the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from halting new curbs on methane leaks from the oil and gas sector. Methane is many times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The petition, filed in the Court of Appeals […]

Cap & Trade Bills in Limbo

2 Jun

Editor’s Note: Story was written June 1. As a key legislative deadline approaches tonight for passing bills out of their chamber of origin, the fate of the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program remains uncertain. Gov. Jerry Brown has pressed state lawmakers to pass a measure to continue the landmark program through 2030 by a two-thirds vote […]

PG&E Sued Over Tragic Oakland Warehouse Fire

18 May

Pacific Gas & Electric is among the long list of named defendants in a consolidated wrongful death suit filed mid-week following the fire in a makeshift artist residence in an Oakland warehouse last December. The blaze and inability to escape what has been called a “death trap” killed 36 people and injured many more. The […]