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15 Feb

The California Department of Water Resources was ordered this week to perform a “forensic analysis” of the failure of the spillway at Oroville Dam by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC, which licenses dams that produce hydropower like Oroville, also ordered the department to convene an independent board of consultants to review the situation and […]

Climate Roundup: Lawmakers Advised to Pass Cap & Trade & Broaden Auction Revenue Uses

14 Feb

The Legislative Analyst recommends that legislators authorize a state carbon cap-and-trade program by a two-thirds vote to make it resilient to future legal challenges and to give the California Air Resources Board authority to keep the market-based program in place after 2020. Lawmakers also should give the Air Board “clearer direction” on “whether complementary policies […]


5 Jan

In an effort to turn over a new leaf in the new year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Jan. 3 unveiled a customer bill of rights for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. (more…)


5 Jan

Tesla and Panasonic Jan. 4 began mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the automaker’s “Gigafactory” in Nevada. They will be used in Tesla’s energy storage products and Model 3 car. Production is underway for cells that will be used in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products. Model 3 car cell production will […]

Sen. Panel Approves Bills Mandating Natural Gas Impact Studies

16 Jun

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee June 13 passed measures requiring studies of the health impacts of the months-long methane leak at Aliso Canyon and on the amount of natural gas needed to fuel proposed generating projects. It also approved legislation seeking to advance emerging energy storage technologies. (more…)

Assembly Utilities Committee Passes Nuclear Storage, Tariff Bills

16 Jun

A state Senate joint resolution urging the “prompt and safe” relocation of spent nuclear fuel from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station to an unidentified interim consolidated storage facility was passed unanimously by the Assembly’s Utilities & Commerce Committee June 15. (more…)

Mojave Desert Plant to Be ‘Drought-Proofed’

16 Jun

The California Energy Commission this week approved a plan to “drought-proof” a power facility located in the Mojave Desert to compensate for water supply issues claimed to be unforeseen when the project was licensed 16 years ago. (more…)

Once Through Cooling Deadlines Not So Certain

21 Apr

An advisory board recommended April 18 staying the course on phasing out the use of large quantities of ocean water to cool coastal power plants. The phase out deadlines, set for the facilities in May 2010 by the State Water Resources Control Board, seek to address the decades of harm to the coastal ecosystem from […]


7 Jan

Natural gas prices on the spot market averaged $2.61 per million British thermal units in 2015, the lowest level since 1999, according to the Energy Information Agency Jan. 5. A warm fall last year and record production and storage levels were behind the low price, EIA said.   (more…)

Coastal Water Cooling Revamp on Track

6 Nov

The advisory committee on the phase out of water-intensive cooling at the state’s 19 coastal power plants told water officials Nov. 4 that nearly all the plant operators were able to meet the deadlines for repowering their facilities to slash their water use or retire them. (more…)


23 Oct

California’s climate protection and renewable policies, along with the drought, have grabbed headlines, while the critical phase-out of the state’s ocean-cooled power plants has continued to burn on the back of the energy stove. (more…)

AES Moving Ahead with Redondo Repowering

17 Sep

AES Southland says it plans to move forward with repowering its Redondo Beach power plant despite widespread community opposition and complaints about a recent natural gas leak at the facility. (more…)

NRC: Yucca Mountain Contamination Threat Minor

17 Sep

Any potential impacts that a proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would have on local groundwater would be “small,” claims a supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed site discussed this week. (more…)


11 Sep

The second phase of a multi-year effort to ensure needed transmission is in place to allow the continued growth of renewable supplies was launched Sept. 10. This second step in the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative, initially begun in 2007, aims to spend the next two years developing a draft transmission plan, including repurposing existing lines […]

JUICE: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

3 Sep

The silver lining of the ongoing drought is how it’s focused politicians, regulators and many others of us in California on the importance of water conservation. (more…)

Ocean Cooling Mitigation Fee Set for Approval

31 Jul

Next week, the owners and operators of ocean-cooled power plants are expected to be allowed to pay a temporary mitigation fee starting in October to offset the loss of marine life caused by their facility’s sucking in large quantities of seawater. (more…)

New Water Appliance Standards Approved by CEC

14 May

The California Energy Commission May 13 unanimously approved efficiency standards for toilets, urinals, faucets, HVAC air filters, florescent deep dimming ballasts and heat pump water chilling packages. The standards seek to save both energy and water. (more…)

Water Board Sets New Rules for Desalination Plants

8 May

The State Water Resources Control Board May 7 unanimously adopted amended rules for desalination plants along California’s shores, which are back in vogue in this fourth year of drought. Facilities that remove salts from ocean and brackish water to make it potable consume considerable amounts of power. (more…)

Water-Energy Efficiency Gets a Boost

30 Apr

The Senate Natural Resources Committee April 28 passed two bills: one promoting joint water and energy use efficiency and the other protecting non-potable groundwater supplies from fracking contaminants. (more…)

CEC’s Emergency Water Rules Save Energy Too

9 Apr

At the behest of Gov. Jerry Brown, the California Energy Commission April 8 passed emergency regulations that establish efficiency standards for water appliances. The standards will save energy too. (more…)


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