607, 2020

Final Push with New Bill for Pumped Storage

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With COVID-19 stalling most energy matters not related to PG&E, the NextEra backed effort to promote pumped storage in California got new life last week following the “gut and amend” of AB 1720  by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles).

2906, 2020

California COVID-19 Update – June 29

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The following statistics were gathered from various government websites: State-wide—215,375 confirmed cases, 5,933 deaths (+35 from yesterday-State-wide).         The greater Los Angeles area has 97,894 cases and 3,305 deaths (+20 from yesterday). The Bay Area has 23,738 cases and 568 deaths (+5 from yesterday).   Confirmed cases in 55/58 counties (3 counties have reported no cases). Counties re-opening 51 of 58 (those counties are moving to Phase 3 of 4 as defined by Newsom Administration). Cities, including in the greater Los Angeles Area and several in the San Francisco Bay Area, moving slowly toward Stage 3. Because [...]

906, 2020

Commission Says PG&E ‘Making Progress’ but Questions Remain

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Testifying at the Senate Energy Committee Oversight Hearing on June 4, California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) staff said that PG&E is improving resiliency ahead of wildfire season, albeit with big unknowns. CPUC Deputy Executive Director Rachel Patterson told the Committee that PG&E is "making progress towards readiness, with some major ifs. The very biggest question will be whether the company can bring all of their lines of effort together into smart and competent execution this year." CPUC staff said that PG&E has already exceeded its target for installed transmission switches, which enable electricity to be remotely rerouted around faulty lines [...]

806, 2020

Board Chair in Hot Water over Tweet

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California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols found herself in an uncomfortable position for a tweet that referenced George Floyd's last words in a rallying cry for environmental justice. https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/ Nichols tweeted:  “I can’t breathe' speaks to police violence, but it also applies to the struggle for clean air. Environmental racism is just one form of racism. It’s all toxic. Government needs to clean it up in word and deed. We who do climate and environmental policy can and must do more.” Her tweet, which resulted in more than 140 likes as of Monday night, also received a [...]

306, 2020

Commission Approves Utility Bankruptcy Plan

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On May 28, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved PG&E’s bankruptcy exit plan, the penultimate milestone for the company before it can close its Chapter 11 case ahead of the State's June 30 deadline. CPUC framed their unanimous decision as a protection of PG&E customers, wildfire victims, and clean energy goals. However, they also acknowledged the uncertainty that lies ahead as regulators and lawmakers alike prepare for the possibility of a state takeover of PG&E if the company doesn't exit bankruptcy on time or commits certain safety violations. “PG&E has consistently failed to demonstrate that it adequately understands the [...]

2805, 2020

Consumer Watchdog: ‘No More Oil Wells!’

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On May 20, Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit organization that works on behalf of taxpayers and consumers, transmitted a letter to Governor Newsom requesting he issue an order that no new oil wells be approved without full bonding for their clean-up, as well as a requirement to plug a certain number of idle wells in exchange for a new permit. 

1205, 2020

Feinstein Supports Commission on Resilience Projects

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In a letter to California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) President Marybel Batjer on May 7, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) called on CPUC to continue expedited deployment of electric grid resilience projects across California during preparation for the upcoming wildfire season and the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts. 

805, 2020

Bulk Storage Bill Gets Big Opposition

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In late April, a large coalition of environmental groups, farming interests and municipal utilities co-signed and sent a letter to members of the Legislature in opposition to AB 2255, a measure that is sponsored by NextEra Energy, that promotes the development of more long-duration energy storage in California.

2704, 2020

Commission ALJ Recommends PG&E Bankruptcy Approval

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On April 20, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Peter Allen issued a 117-page document endorsing PG&E’s new governance structure, which includes a regional restructuring that aims to establish more responsive operations after years of catastrophic wildfires and last fall's public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events. Allen’s action is another step toward ensuring PG&E can close its Chapter 11 case by the June 30 deadline mandated by AB 1054. 

2004, 2020

No PSPS Events During COVID-19?

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On April 13, local governments, power providers and consumer advocates called on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to issue an emergency order setting standards for public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

3003, 2020

Commission Orders IOUs to Reduce GHGs by 25%

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On March 26, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ordered California’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% over the next decade, a target environmentalists argue is too weak to meet the state's aggressive climate goals. 

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