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Bankruptcy May be the Excuse for Expedited Rate Recovery of PG&E’s 2019 Fire Costs

2 Apr

The pandemic and the fast approaching wildfire season increases the urgency of getting Pacific Gas & Electric out of bankruptcy by June 30, California Public Utilities Commission Marybel Batjer said. “We want to clear the regulatory landscape for PG&E’s exit from Chapter 11” to allow it to access the legislatively created $20 billion wildfire fund. […]

The Buzz

26 Mar

Incessant telephonic disruptions don’t stop state regulators from approving 25,000 MW of new clean energy projects to cut the sector’s emission to 46 megatons of carbon emissions by 2030.  Also during their challenging public telephone business meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously okays $200 million in building decarbonization pilots. It also extends a multi-million […]

The Buzz

6 Mar

State lawmakers ask the private utilities hard questions about the new wildfire mitigation plans’ impacts on ratepayer pocketbooks and safety. Legislators also introduce new bills to keep PG&E et al from writing off penalties for safety violations. Other measures seek to increase the flow of renewable resources into utility grids and vehicles. To help close […]

Bills Keep Utilities from Benefiting from Wildfire Penalties, Promote Clean Power

5 Mar

Even before Pacific Gas & Electric was hit last Thursday with a $2.14 billion penalty for sparking devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018, a bill was introduced to prohibit the utility from deducting it or other safety penalties from its tax liability. It would be “obscene” to allow PG&E to take a tax deduction on […]

Utility Wildfire Plans Raise Cost and Safety Issues

5 Mar

The cost to ratepayers and how soon fire protections will be in place are key concerns for lawmakers reviewing new billion dollar-plus wildfire plans submitted by the private utilities. The three utility 2020 prevention plans will raise rates, but there’s currently no way to figure out how much, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) said during a […]

The Buzz

28 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric is hit with a historic fine of $2.14 billion for igniting deadly wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018. It comes a few days after PG&E reports significant losses in its 2019 earnings report. The private utilities in the southern half of the state fare far better. Southern California Edison, […]

PG&E Faces Unprecedented $2.14B Penalty for Fires

28 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric was slapped with the largest financial penalty in California Public Utilities Commission history as punishment for the utility’s role in the catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018 in Northern California. The CPUC Feb. 27 announced its Administrative Law Judge decision that imposes $2.137 billion in penalties against the investor-owned utility. Previously, […]

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. […]

SDG&E’s Fire Prevention to Cost up to $1.5B over 3 Years

19 Feb

San Diego Gas & Electric’s new wildfire mitigation plan filed with state energy regulators comes with a price tag that’s about one third the cost of those of Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric.  The San Diego utility estimates that it will spend $1 billion to $1.5 billion from 2020 through 2022 to […]

CPUC Pitches PG&E Reorganization Framework

19 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 18 opened an investigation into the impacts of Pacific Gas & Electric’s exit from federal bankruptcy court. It issued a broad appeal for public input on the utility plan to emerge from Chapter 11 protections. “It is essential we hear from all parties, including ratepayers, consumer advocates, local governments, […]

Edison Asks for More Money for Wildfire Mitigation

18 Feb

A new plan to address wildfires submitted by Southern California Edison asks state authorities for an additional $322 million to prevent utility line sparked fires over what it requested just three months ago in its general rate case. The total is $3.823 billion to mitigate blazes over three years. Edison submitted its 2020-2022 wildfire management […]

New Bill Seeks to Limit Private Utility Lobbying

12 Feb

State legislation was introduced that would significantly reduce the size of investor-owned utilities political contributions to campaign coffers. AB 2079 by Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Placer) would restrict contributions from Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to $3,000 per political campaign under proposed revisions to the state’s Political Reform […]

PG&E’s New Wildfire Plan Continues Big Investments

11 Feb

In its 2020 fire protection plan, Pacific Gas & Electric proposes continuing to fund utility infrastructure wildfire resistance measures, vegetation clearance, inspections of thousands of miles of lines, and automation installations. The nearly 500-page plan submitted to state energy regulators Feb. 7 aims to reduce both the risk of utility-sparked fires and the impact 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 […]

The Buzz

30 Jan

House Democrats produce a massive funding framework and bold climate neutral bill back to back.  Also midweek, increasing climate protection to thwart hotter and more intense wildfires is the focus of a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing. The chief of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. adds his two cents. The California grid operator continues […]

House Panel Hearing on Wildfires & Power Accompanied by Carbon Neutrality Bill

28 Jan

House Democrats formally introduced legislation to make the United States climate neutral by 2050 the same day a committee heard about strategies for reducing wildfire threats, including those sparked by utility equipment. Rep. Frank Pallone, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair, warned of climate disruption exacerbated wildfires, and highlighted the Jan. 28 launch of The […]

CPUC Warns of Rising Electric Rates

22 Jan

San Diego Gas & Electric’s rates increased 50 percent over the last decade. The utility bills of ratepayers of the other two investor-owned utilities will soon follow suit. That is what California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer told the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee during its Jan. 22 annual CPUC review. Batjer said continuing […]

Shorts

22 Jan

How wildfire impacts the environment and energy infrastructure is the subject of a Jan. 28 hearing planned by House Energy and Commerce Committee. The chair, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), highlighted how California, in particularly, has been hammered by several big wildfires. He called for “a robust response” from the federal government, including help to ensure […]

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 […]

Storage Rebates Shift to Communities in High Fire Areas

16 Jan

In the latest after-effect of the preemptive blackouts that Northern Californians suffered through last Fall, the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Jan. 16 to accelerate rebates for energy storage systems in fire-stressed communities. The rebates will prioritize places like grocery stores, corner stores, independent living centers, food banks and other places where people spontaneously […]