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FERC Investigates California August Outages

17 Sep

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Neil Chatterjee announced Thursday that his agency is looking into what caused a shortage of electricity that led to rolling outages in California on Aug. 14 and 15. He said he is concerned about heat related events and wildfires. “Climate change is increasing the ferocity and number of weather events,” […]

Shorts

10 Sep

SoCalGas announced Sept. 10 it was increasing energy efficient appliance rebates by 50%. It applies to efficient appliances purchased now through the end of the year. A tankless water heater can save about $1,500, an efficient traditional water heater about $200, and an energy efficient furnace will save a customer about $550 over its lifetime, […]

Shorts

4 Aug

Updated Aug. 6 Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Bernard McNamee will depart the agency Sept. 4. McNamee, whose term formally expired at the end of June, announced Aug. 5 his final day on the commission. He thanked President Trump for nominating him, adding “I will have more to say before I leave.”  Last week, Trump announced […]

News Roundup: Trump Names Two FERC Nominees

28 Jul

After months of ignoring the Democrats’ nominee for a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, while advancing the Republican choice for another, President Donald Trump July 27 accepted two prospective commissioners, one from each party. Democrats chose Allison Clements, and Republicans chose Mark Christie. “In a political climate that is often paralyzed by partisanship, […]

Shorts

14 Jul

More than one third of California’s electricity last year was fueled by solar, wind and other qualifying renewables under the state’s clean energy mandate. According to the California Energy Commission, 36% of retail electric sales were supplied by renewable resources, exceeding the 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard’s 2020 mandate. “As we move to 100% clean electricity […]

House Climate Committee Issues Decarbonization Roadmap

30 Jun

The House Select Committee on Climate Change released a much-awaited plan June 30 that seeks to make the nation carbon neutral by 2050, five years later than California’s deadline. The new national proposal stresses that continued climate pollution equals continued racism, disproportionately impacting non-whites. It puts environmental justice communities at the front of the line […]

The Buzz

25 Jun

California sets the nation’s first statewide mandate to electrify medium- and heavy-duty trucks beginning in 2024. State energy regulators and utilities will play key roles in the success of the transition away from polluting diesel trucks to electrified ones by getting needed charging infrastructure built. The California Public Utilities Commission expands the local resources adequacy […]

Shorts

16 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric pled guilty June 16 in Butte County Superior Court to 84 counts of manslaughter and one count of illegally starting the 2018 Camp Fire. “I have heard the pain and the anguish of victims as they’ve described the loss they continue to endure, and the wounds that can’t be healed,” Bill […]

The Buzz

4 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to reduce wildfire threats and safety outages is half empty or half full, depending on your perspective. While the CPUC President says she is optimistic about the improvements in the 2020 plan, she has doubts about it being successfully implemented. In spite of the concerns, none are raised about its […]

Shorts

28 Apr

Updated April 30 The last snow survey of the season found the state snowpack at 37% of the May average. That equates to 8.4 inches of snow water equivalent. The standard survey at Phillips Station in Lake Tahoe was 1.5 inches, with a snow water equivalent of 0.5 inches, which is 3% of the May […]

Federal Clean Car Rules Officially Weakened

31 Mar

The Trump Administration followed through on its threat to rollback emission standards on new vehicles and small trucks, harming California’s and other states’ efforts to reduce climate pollution from the transportation sector. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued their final rule weakening fuel economy standards March 31. Annual carbon […]

Shorts

17 Mar

Updated March 18 Southern California Edison canceled plans for six pilot microgrids it hoped to have online this September. Only a few bids were received, and all costly. They ranged from $15 million to over $30 million, 13-100 times the costs of the alternatives, the utility told energy regulators, Microgrid Knowledge reported March 17. That […]

State and Federal Meeting Updates during Covid-19 Pandemic

16 Mar

Updated Friday. Changes in italics. The following are the latest changes to previously scheduled meetings, in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order limiting the number of people at gatherings, and local agency dictates. The California Public Utilities Commission cancelled all its public hearings on increasing electric rates pursuant to Phase One of Southern California […]

Open Energy Meetings & COVID-19

10 Mar

State and federal agencies and organizations do not see eye to eye on the threat posed by the new coronavirus. Most cautious so far is the grid operator. Last week, the California Independent System Operator announced it was switching all of its in-person gatherings, including Board of Governors, Western Energy Imbalance Market and Market Surveillance […]

GOP FERC Choice Approved, Dem’s Nominee Sits in the Wings

3 Mar

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12 to 8 to recommend the nomination of James Danly for an open seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, over strong objections from Democrats. If approved by the full Senate, Danly will fill the spot left by the death of former FERC chair Kevin McIntyre. […]

CPUC Rewards Utility Shareholders $43M for Energy Savings, Despite Concerns

27 Feb

Shareholders of three of the four investor-owned utilities were awarded more than $43 million for efficiency program savings funded by ratepayers, in a resolution passed by the California Public Utilities Commission. The awards, approved Feb 27 on a 4-1 vote, cover the 2017 to 2018 period. The lone opponent was Commissioner Marta Guzman Aceves, who […]

Shorts

11 Feb

SoCal Gas announced Feb. 11 that its customers saved $55.6 million in 2019 on their annual gas bills through utility energy efficiency programs. The reduced energy consumption avoided about 265,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 57,000 cars off of California roads for one year, according to SoCal Gas. […]

The Buzz

7 Feb

State energy regulators pay lip service to California’s mandate for the energy sector to be 100 percent clean and then approve the replacement of a 50-mile natural gas pipeline in San Diego. But, the Sempra utilities’ $677 million cost estimate for the project is to be examined. The House Energy & Commerce Committee takes aim […]

House Panel Airs the Benefits & Challenges of Capturing Carbon

6 Feb

Federal funding for the research and development of technologies to remove carbon emissions from the air and industrial facilities, turning it into viable products and storing it long term is needed to reach a carbon neutral economy by 2050, according to federal lawmakers. The issue also is the focus of a bipartisan House bill, Utilizing […]

House Panel Debates the Impacts of FERC’s Gas Project Permits

5 Feb

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came under fire for the number of natural gas pipeline permits approved and the basis of those decisions, during a Feb. 5 House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on modernizing the Natural Gas Act. The commission was criticized for running roughshod over landowners’ rights, ignoring the greenhouse gas impacts of […]

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