California Public Utilities Commission
California’s battles over rooftop solar obscure the real culprits: Gavin Newsom and Silicon Valley billionaires
The LA Times’ inestimable Sammy Roth reports on the attempt of California’s investor-owned utilities to end “net metering,” whereby utilities must pay customers with rooftop solar for their excess electricity. Roth has been highly skeptical of the utilities’ drive: it’s an age of climate crisis, and the state’s Public Utilities Commission is going to reduce …CONTINUE READING
New California agency dispute resolution process in need of expert panelists
When a homeowner or business wants to install clean technology like renewable electricity generation or energy storage either for on-site usage or as a grid service, they occasionally run into problems obtaining approvals from the local electric utility to connect that resource to the electrical grid. The owner must enter into an interconnection agreement with …CONTINUE READING
Questioning the continued existence of California’s largest energy utility
What can we do to ensure the safety of the massive electric and natural gas delivery systems that we rely on every day? Eight years after the horrific explosion and fire stemming from one of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) natural gas pipelines in San Bruno, California, the state’s legislators and utility regulators …CONTINUE READING
Guest Bloggers Jennifer Garlock and Michelle Melton: California Enacts Law to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ride-Hailing Companies
Governor Brown Signs SB 1014, Allowing Innovative Approaches to Emissions Reduction
As part of its broader efforts to tackle climate change, California has set its sights on a new, and fast-growing, source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. On September 13, Governor Brown signed SB 1014, making California the first U.S. jurisdiction to require that ride-hailing companies—also known as transportation network …CONTINUE READING
A landmark agreement supports the closure of a controversial nuclear plant.
Today’s announcement that the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has reached an agreement with several environmental and labor groups to plan for the eventual shutdown of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is a stunning development, when viewed in an historical perspective. PG&E has agreed not to seek new licenses for its power plant that …CONTINUE READING
A scandal at the California Public Utilities Commissions brings a questionable practice to light.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has an unusual way of doing business. Most state and federal regulatory agencies prohibit private, closed-door discussions with interested parties about contested matters (ex parte communications). Even though it makes decisions affecting the welfare of Californians and the disposition of billions of dollars, the CPUC does not discourage ex …CONTINUE READING
Legal settlement to commit $100 million to new charging stations has not been effective
Back in 2000, rolling blackouts descended upon California and eventually cost Governor Gray Davis his job. The crisis was caused by deviant corporate behavior, and one of the companies involved, NRG, finally settled with the state in 2012 for damages related to its conduct. But instead of being punished, the California Public Utilities Commission allowed …CONTINUE READING
When does the approval of a contract trigger environmental review?
If an electric utility asks regulators to approve a contract to purchase power from someone else’s power plant, should the regulators consider the environmental implications before saying yes or no? Of course they should. But let me ask the question again, using a bit of California legalese: Does a decision by the California Public Utilities …CONTINUE READING
Energy storage isn’t called the “Holy Grail” for nothing. Without it, we simply cannot meet our long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals. To decarbonize the energy supply, intermittent renewable energy from the sun and wind must be stored for later dispatch when those resources aren’t available. We’ve covered this subject extensively here and here. Now California …CONTINUE READING
Do you remember the horrific Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California, that killed eight people and burned down dozens of homes? Two years later, there are still several proceedings pending before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to figure out who should bear costs resulting from the …CONTINUE READING