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House Hearing on Transmission Hits California Live Wires

24 May

Barriers to transmission needed for clean energy growth in California and across the country can be overcome, advocates told the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis May 20. Wildfires and freezes “have left Americans in the dark and in danger just in the last four months,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), the committee […]

FERC Warns of Tight So Cal Gas Supplies, and Risks of Extreme Heat and Fires

20 May

It’s not just California regulators who are worried about the supply of electricity in the state and the West this summer. Federal regulators also are watching resource reliability and potential peak demand. In addition to drought and high wildfire risk, Southern California faces the additional problem of tight gas supplies, according to the Federal Energy […]

Bills Pass that Back Offshore Wind and Home Batteries for Grid Support

22 Apr

This week, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee approved legislation to launch California’s offshore wind industry and allow home battery projects to help balance the grid during times of spiking temperatures. Passed on an 11-0 vote April 21, AB 525 by Assembly members David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) requires the […]

What Biden’s $1.9 T Infrastructure Plan Does and Doesn’t Include

20 Apr

by Herman Trabish The Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion spending plan to make the U.S. power sector 100% clean energy by 2035 has generated great attention but barely begun its way through Congress. Clean energy proposals in the Biden American Jobs Plan would expand the renewable energy tax credits and mandate spending for clean energy and […]

FERC First: Greenhouse Gas Impacts of a Gas Pipeline Evaluated

18 Mar

Federal energy regulators took the unprecedented step of requiring an analysis of the greenhouse gas impacts of a gas pipeline certification. They also voted to remove market barriers to distributed energy resources during their March 18 meeting. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Rich Glick said the vote to consider greenhouse gas impacts into decision-making removes […]

Senators Disagree on Energy Resource Reliability and Affordability

11 Mar

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee debated March 11 how to achieve a reliable, resilient, and affordable grid given the increase in extreme weather conditions and blackouts. The importance of resource diversity was stressed, but there was no agreement as to which resources are affordable or reliable. However, microgrid and battery systems got […]

The Buzz

4 Mar

A California Public Utilities Commission proposal seeks 7,500 MW of additional resources starting in 2024. Of that amount, 2,000 MW would be non-fossil. The resources are to make up for the closing Diablo nuclear plant and old inefficient gas-powered plants. But it is much more than meets the eye. East Bay Community Energy and OhmConnect […]

Senate Advances FERC Nominees

18 Nov

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Nov. 18 to advance two nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to the full Senate, one Democrat and one Republican. Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) said a top priority of hers was to send the nominees to the Senate Floor to allow a vote next […]

Feinstein and Barragan Take Aim at SoCal Gas for Astroturfing

29 Oct

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-CA) are demanding answers from Southern California Gas about its ongoing attempts to undermine California policy aimed at phasing out natural gas use. They specifically cite the company’s attacks against construction electrification ordinances and truck electrification. In an Oct. 29 letter to the head of the gas […]

Shorts

22 Sep

Silicon Valley Clean Energy launched an online resource platform to help customers understand the benefits of switching to fully electric homes. “With eHub, we want consumers to be empowered to make decisions that will improve their quality of life while also lowering their carbon footprint,” Girish Balachandran, SVCE CEO, said Sept. 23. The aggregator’s eHub […]

Shorts

13 Aug

The Trump Administration Aug. 13 finalized two rules that significantly reduce Clean Air Act safeguards on methane pollution from oil and gas infrastructure. “Today’s action by EPA to gut commonsense methane requirements for the oil and gas sector defies both science and human decency,” Rep Frank Pallone (D-NJ), said. He and others warned that oil […]

Shorts

20 Jul

The California Coastal Commission on a 10-0 vote approved Southern California Edison’s management plan for its radioactive waste stored at its shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. SCE earlier contracted with Holtec for dry cask spent fuel canisters at the Camp Pendleton site. The agency approved July 16 the utility’s inspection and maintenance activities for […]

Shorts

6 Jul

July 8 update Neither the Assembly nor Senate will return to Sacramento next week as planned. The California Senate made the announcement in a July 8 letter, the day after the Assembly cancelled reconvening July 13 because five who work at the Capitol tested positive for Covid-19, including at least one lawmaker, the San Francisco […]

Court Slams FERC Roadblocks to Pipeline Permit Challenges

30 Jun

Federal energy regulators’ habit of postponing landowners’ challenges to permits for natural gas pipelines that run across their property was soundly rejected by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals June 30. The issue before the court boiled down to the legitimacy of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s issuance of so called “tolling orders,” which delay […]

Clean Energy Growth Impacted by Mineral Constraints

24 Jun

U.S. dependence on imported materials, including some rare minerals used in energy storage and vehicles, is increasing while the supply reliability is diminishing. Demand for lithium, graphite and cobalt is expected to grow 500% by mid-century to meet clean energy demand. “The pandemic has shown how delicate the supply chains are,” U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski […]

News Roundup: $494B for Clean Transportation in House Bill, Little Action in CARB Auction

3 Jun

Almost $500 billion would be invested in the U.S. transportation sector, including electric vehicle charging stations and expanded public transit, under a bill amended by the House Transportation Committee. The Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act also would address climate adaptation with investments in fortified transportation infrastructure. […]

Shorts

12 May

Updated March 13 The colorful S. David Freeman, who headed the state’s largest public municipal power agencies, died at 94 years of age. Freeman also was head of the short-lived California Power Authority created during the 2000-01 energy crisis by former Gov. Gray Davis. Freeman helped the state sign $42 billion in overpriced, long-term power […]

Shorts

10 Mar

California does not yet have any offshore wind plants nor do most other states on the West and East coasts. There is only one commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S., which is in Rhode Island. This market, however, is expected to grow quickly with tools to improve offshore wind turbine performance, making them more […]

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 […]

Shorts

5 Mar

Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4 reappointed two California Independent System Operator board members. Ashutosh Bhagwat and Angelina Galiteva were given additional three-year terms by the governor. Both members are serving third terms. Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO, who retires in June, said the re-appointees and the executive leadership will continue to work together […]

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