Gov. Gavin Newsom reappointed Severin Borenstein and Jan Schori to the California Independent System Operator Board of Governors Jan. 6. Borenstein has been a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business since 1996. Schori, former Sacramento Municipal Utility District General Manager, was a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2021.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office during a Jan. 3 court hearing if it wanted to extend Pacific Gas & Electric’s criminal probation, Bloomberg reported. The judge complained that PG&E has failed to improve its wildfire safety track record. The utility is “killing people every year with wildfires and I would have thought in five years that I could bring it under control,” Alsup said, according to Bloomberg. A safety monitor named by the CPUC is tasked with keeping watch over PG&E for the next five years.
Carbon capture at coal plants and industrial facilities is a bust, according to the U.S. General Accountability Office. The Department of Energy invested $1.1 billion in 11 projects since 2009, with DOE committing to 8 projects at coal plants, to demonstrate the capture and storage of carbon dioxide emissions. DOE spent $684 million of the public’s tax dollars on the eight projects. Seven of them were never built because coal became a money loser. Four of those had cost overruns of almost $300 million because senior management at DOE directed that cost controls be ignored to help the struggling coal projects, GAO found in its report released last month. Not one project came to fruition.