The Buzz

By Published On: November 18, 2021

The state budget surplus allows for huge increases in spending to clean up transportation emissions, with a big focus on the large vehicle market to reduce the high levels of pollution in communities of color. The California Air Resources Board is expected to approve a $2.3 billion budget.  The California Energy Commission okays a $1.4 billion Clean Transportation Plan, with much of it for small and large EV chargers and hydrogen refueling stations.

The CEC also signs off on a $750 million EPIC budget to fund a range of new energy technologies and projects at different levels of development, from offshore wind to vehicle-to-grid developments.

Our guest editorial highlights the challenges of keeping the Diablo Nuclear Power plant running a decade after its operating licenses expire that last week’s Stanford/MIT study ignores. That includes the incompatibility of a wire mesh system to keep marine life from getting sucked into the plant and lack of space for more radioactive waste, says the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility’s David Weisman.

The California Public Utilities Commission votes to continue the investor-owned utilities being EPIC administrators. In addition, regulators approve reducing the amount of time long-term renewable contracts are kept in the dark. The commission weighs the need for transparency against concerns about gaming the market.

Back east, federal regulators beef up their enforcement activities, to reach $8 million in settlements and claw backs of ill-gotten gains. That is far more than $500,000 recovered in 2020.

The rise of people working from home and increased nonpayment of bills has driven the number of utility scams to record highs. The state’s three biggest investor-owned utility customers alone have lost about $1.5 million, but the number is far higher because many of the scams go unreported.

And more…




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