The Buzz

1 Apr 2021

Changes wrought by the pandemic upend the legislative session, once again. After little action on the committee hearing front for weeks, bill hearings are getting back on track. See the list of bills being taken up in the Assembly and Senate energy committees in this week’s Juice column.

California Community Choice continues to grow, as predicted. More than 200 cities and counties were served by the alternative electricity providers as of April 1. Community energy is now providing 51 GWh. But they also seek the benefits of the investor-owned utilities’ power and renewable contracts that are above market costs, which they help pay for annually.

Pending at the California Public Utilities Commission is a decision approving Pacific Gas & Electric’s unprecedented $7.5 billion ratepayer-backed bond. It would refinance its short-term debt approved as part of its exit from bankruptcy last year. Opponents warn of the financial risks to customers.

Since the mid-August blackouts, energy regulators have reverted, undermining clean energy programs and laws. At the end of last week, a joint agency advisory committee recommends extending the life of yet another old gas plant on the Southern California coast. The vote is to keep 834 MW from the Redondo Beach plant on standby until the end of 2023. Locals are outraged by the second extension in a year.

And more…

The Editors

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