California is in the process of making income-graduated fixed rates a part of ratepayers’ electric bills. This is the first post in a series that follows that proceeding.
Under new legislation, California is moving to a novel system that includes income-based fixed charges for electricity. Some critics contend that this is a giveaway to incumbent utilities. It’s not. Others have implied that the charges reflect new costs to ratepayers on top of existing rates. This is also not accurate. There are, however, important …CONTINUE READING
Wildfires Are Ravaging California. Can Electric Utilities Take the Heat?
In recent years, California has experienced its largest and deadliest wildfires in history, resulting in hundreds of fatalities and more than $50 billion in damage. The confluence of rising temperatures, less rainfall, and strong winds signal that the annual “wildfire season” is here to stay, and will continue to proliferate. Every year, thousands of Californians …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 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
While FRA Considers New Federal Regulations, States Can Ramp Up Prevention and Emergency Response
At a joint Senate and Assembly hearing last week on oil by rail safety in California, some lawmakers expressed frustration at slow federal action, and asked what California can do to increase public safety. My testimony focused on federal preemption issues, defining areas where the state can regulate, and those where it is preempted by …CONTINUE READING
Ken Alex is a Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. The views expressed in this blog post are his own. Earlier this year, UCLA’s Center for Sustainable Communities launched an interactive energy map for energy use in most of Los Angeles. It was a …CONTINUE READING
Ken Alex is a Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. The views expressed in this blog post are his own. We are making progress in two more key areas, although California, for now, is not in the lead. Thanks to new developments and a …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
As I mentioned on Monday, the 23.1 million greenhouse gas (GHG) allowances (current-vintage) sold at the cap-and-trade auction on Monday were all consigned to auction by utility companies. The $233 million generated by that sale must now be used by those utilities to the benefit of ratepayers. Last Friday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its …CONTINUE READING
When the Pacific Gas and Electric Company and California regulators confronted recent health and reliability concerns related to smart meters, they stumbled because of a failure to address these concerns upfront — before committing billions to statewide meter conversion. The loss of public confidence in the aftermath of the tragic gas pipeline explosion in San …CONTINUE READING