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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 […]


10 May

California will have plenty of power this summer, the grid operator concluded in a report May 11, although the ongoing closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field in Southern California remains a concern. The California Independent System Operator said that its system should have a 19.5 percent operating reserve margin under normal conditions. […]

Legal Group Appeals Cap-and-Trade Ruling

14 Apr

The Pacific Legal Foundation April 14 said it will appeal to California’s high court the recent appellate court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of the state’s carbon cap and trade program. “The state Supreme Court needs to decide whether this strong-arm ultimatum is really, as the appellate court majority called it, a ‘voluntary’ arrangement that […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Eggs gathered in Current’s Easter news basket include approval of two controversial and large natural gas project redos along the SoCal coast. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the Huntington & Alamitos replacement projects, which are to be cooled with air, not seawater-cooled. On the agenda at this week’s Energy Commission post business meeting closed […]

CA Joins Suit Against DOE Over Efficiency Standards

13 Apr

The California Energy Commission took action after discussing pending litigation against the U.S. Department of Energy for delaying energy efficiency standards for numerous products during the closed session portion of its April 12 business meeting. The CEC chair authorized the chief counsel’s office to participate in litigation over the DOE’s stalling on  “effective dates and […]

Undercurrents: Possible Settlement on Nuke Waste

12 Apr

In a move that grabbed headlines in Southern California but may not amount to much, a group agreed April 7 to settle a suit to block Southern California Edison from expanding nuclear waste dry cask storage facilities at its closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. With the lack of any long-term repository for spent […]

Appeals Court Upholds Cap & Trade

6 Apr

On a 2-1 decision, California’s Third District Court of Appeal April 6 upheld the constitutionality of the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program, ruling that auctioning off carbon emissions rights does not constitute a tax. The court in Sacramento reasoned that the Legislature gave the California Air Resources Board the broad authority it needed to devise a […]

Undercurrents: LADWP Refunds Expected this Summer

28 Mar

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power this week plans to begin notifying its 2.4 million customers of how the muni plans to resolve overbilling errors that occurred after a flawed billing system was rolled out in 2013. The notice will provide the details of a planned court settlement expected to be approved by […]


28 Mar

The March 30 state snow survey shows the snowpack is at 164 percent of the historical average, at 45.8 inches, meaning high river flows and full reservoirs. “California enters the snowmelt season with a large snowpack that will result in high water in many rivers through the spring,” said Michael Anderson, state climatologist. Electronic measurements […]

Proposed Deal on PG&E Derivative Suits for Gas Safety Breaches

15 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric shareholders reached a $165 million settlement with the corporate and utility officers and directors over charges they violated their fiduciary duties by ignoring safety violations that led to the 2010 San Bruno gas pipe accident. It killed eight people and destroyed three dozen homes. The proposed settlement, filed in the San […]

PG&E’s Final Sentence for San Bruno Blast

26 Jan

Pacific Gas & Electric’s trial and tribulations arising from the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion that killed nine people largely came to an end Jan. 26. U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson’s Jan. 26 sentenced the utility to a $3 million fine, the statutory maximum, and required it to hire an independent monitor to […]

Cap-and-Trade Gets Appellate Court Hearing

19 Jan

Three years after a lower court upheld the legality of the California Air Resources Board’s carbon cap-and-trade, a state appellate court in Sacramento will hear oral arguments Jan. 24 on whether the program passes legal muster. The challenge by the California Chamber of Commerce asserts the Air Board lacks the authority to hold a carbon […]

Appellate Court Upholds CPUC Decision Okaying SDG&E-Carlsbad Deal

1 Dec

The legal challenge to state energy regulators’ approval of an agreement San Diego Gas & Electric reached with the Carlsbad Energy Center for 500 MW from its natural gas-fired project was rejected Nov. 30 by California’s Court of Appeal, First District. The three appellate court judges reaffirmed the California Public Utilities Commission’s May 15, 2015, […]

LADWP Expected to Refund Millions in Overbilling Case

21 Nov

  A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Nov. 18 tentatively approved a settlement of a class action suit related to overcharges from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s new billing system in 2013 that malfunctioned. (more…)


8 Sep

A Sept. 6 committee hearing on a Los Angeles Department of Water & Power appeal of a California Energy Commission decision to reject some of the muni’s Renewable Portfolio Standard applications ordered both parties to confer and file a joint statement of stipulated facts no later than Oct. 5. The CEC panel also ordered each […]

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Radioactive Waste Storage at Nuclear Power Plants

9 Jun

The District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit June 3 denied a group of states’ call to reject the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rule allowing continued onsite storage of radioactive waste at nuclear power plants. (more…)

Governor and Public Agencies Face Tort Claims for Aliso Canyon Leak

21 Apr

Government tort claims were filed on behalf of 689 Porter Ranch residents against the governor, state and regional regulators for millions of dollars in property and personal damage claims caused by the mammoth, months-long SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon gas leak. The claims were filed April 15, just a day before a new leak was reported […]

CLIMATE ROUNDUP: Children’s Lawsuit on Climate Change to Advance

14 Apr

A federal judge refused to throw out a lawsuit by a group of kids, claiming they have been harmed by the U.S. Government’s decades of inaction on steps to curb greenhouse gas pollution. (more…)

Supremes Halt Clean Power Plan While Under Court Review

11 Feb

The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 late Feb. 9 to stay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan until the merits of the challenge to the plan are decided. (more…)

U.S. Supreme Court Safeguards FERC’s Demand Response Power

26 Jan

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s demand response authority, and order directing that negawatts and megawatts bid into the wholesale market be paid the same rate, was upheld by the highest court of the land Jan. 25. (more…)