Report on California Wildfire Costs Released

California’s wildfire losses and their associated costs could be more than double what’s been reported, according to the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST). In it’s recently-released report, “The Costs of Wildfire in California: An Independent Review of Scientific and Technical Information,” CCST states that the data currently available fails to account for unquantifiable losses, such as public health impacts, resulting in inaccurate costs. 

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Changes in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee Staff

While the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee’s makeup is bound to change after the election, Assemblyman Chris Holden recently announced staff. Laura Shybut, Senator Jerry Hill’s Chief of Staff, will become the new chief consultant to the committee.

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CWS-CARES Project Director Leaving State Service

Rebecca Stilling, the project director for California’s Child Welfare Services-California Automated Response and Engagement System (CWS-CARES) will be leaving state service this week, according to an email distributed to project staff. She will be on the job until Oct. 15, she said. Office of System Integrations Deputy Director Cynthia Tocher will step into the role as acting project director.

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CAISO Declares Flex Alert for Thursday, Oct. 1

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, October 1, 2020). With high temperatures in the forecast, the power grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use.  Reduced capacity, along with fire activity and heat, has led to a potential shortage of energy supply tomorrow evening. Earlier this afternoon, a Grid Alert was issued for a possible electricity shortage in the day-ahead market, for one hour beginning at 6 p.m. tomorrow, and a Restricted Maintenance Operations [...]

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PG&E Declares PSPS Event Beginning Early Sunday Morning

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced late Saturday that they are declaring a Public Power Safety Shutt-off (PSPS) event beginning early Sunday morning and that they will last until Monday. Delivering the news during a press briefing, the utility said they expected the PSPS to impact nearly 89,000 customers in 16 counties across Northern California. In a statement released after the press conference, PG&E said that "The anticipated scope and timing of this event has changed from earlier announcements, based on updated weather forecasts that showed stronger wind gusts in a larger portion of PG&E’s service area.  PG&E’s in-house meteorologists, [...]

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PG&E Says PSPS Possible for 100K this Weekend Due to Heat and Wind

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has warned late today that a Public Power Safety Shut-Off (PSPS) event is possible for close to 100,000 residents in Northern California this weekend as strong offshore winds are forecast to hit the region starting Sunday morning. According to the PG&E press release, costumers in Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Kern, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama, and Yuba counties could lose power over the weekend. Following legislative and regulatory approval, California utilities were afforded the ability to enact PSPS events if high-risk weather conditions occurred.   While the utilities have been under [...]

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Newsom Orders Ban on Gas-Fueled Vehicles by 2035

Governor Gavin Newsom today (9/23) called for a ban on the sale of new gasoline-fueled vehicles beginning in 2035.  Newsom said he is directing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California in 2035 be zero-emission vehicles.

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Saturday Mid-Day Update: Historic Fires Cover the West

UPDATE9/12/2020 -- 12noon Wildfires are burning across the West, but cooler weather may be offering some hope in the coming days.  Also, just announced, President Trump will visit Sacramento on Monday (9/14) for a briefing on the California wildfires. According the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), the combined firefighting force across the West is more than 29,000 currently on the front lines of these fires.  Across the West, thousands of homes and other structures have been lost and regrettably, 26 lives so far.  NIFC also reported that evacuations are active in 6 States across the West due to the massive [...]

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News Flash: CAISO Issues State 3 Emergency – Rolling Outages Ordered

From the California ISO: Stage 3 Emergency Declared; rotating power outages have been initiated to maintain grid stability The California Independent System Operator (ISO) is declaring a Stage 3 Electrical Emergency due to high heat and increased electricity demand. The emergency initiates rotating outages throughout the state. A Stage 3 Emergency is declared when demand outpaces available supply. Rotating power interruptions have been initiated to maintain stability of the electric grid. The Stage 3 Emergency declaration was called after extreme heat drove up electricity demand across California, causing the ISO to dip into its operating reserves for supply to cover [...]

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Newsom Directs State Agencies to Bridge Digital Gaps for Distance Learning

Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that California educational agencies will each receive a portion of $5.3 billion to mitigate losses and provide distance learning support to millions of students across the state. The Governor also signed an executive order charging state agencies with improving and expanding the state's broadband infrastructure to provide high-speed internet access to all Californians.

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Statewide Flex Alert called for Friday, August 14

Due to hot weather forecasts, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is calling for a voluntary reduction in energy consumption on Friday, August 14 from 3pm to 10pm. Californians are urged to turn off unnecessary lights, avoid using major appliances, and set their thermostats to 78 degrees.

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California COVID-19 Update – June 29

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 [...]

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Weekly Energy Digest for June 19, 2020

Some energy-related news stories we've been reading this week ... California Preparing for peak wildfire season in San Diego amid the pandemic COVID-19 adds complications for Cal Fire and SDG&E as weather heats up. (San Diego Union-Tribune, June 19) Federal Approval of Oil Well at Carrizo Plain National Monument Sparks Outrage The Federal Bureau of Land Management has approved oil drilling in Carrizo Plain National Monument, sparking outrage among conservationists. (Los Angeles Times, June 18) PG&E Ordered to Pay $4 Million for Camp Fire that Killed 84 PG&E Corp. was ordered to pay $4 million for its role in causing [...]

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Weekly Energy Digest for June 11, 2020

Some energy-related news stories we've been reading this week ... California PG&E Names 11 New Board Members as Part of Bankruptcy Overhaul The San Francisco parent of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said six of the new directors are from California, in keeping with the desires of state officials. PG&E agreed to “substantial modifications” to its board in a bankruptcy deal with Gov. Gavin Newsom this year. (San Francisco Chronicle, June 11) PG&E’s Oakland Move Could Break Records with $892 Million Purchase Option PG&E Corp.’s move from San Francisco to Oakland could shatter real estate records as the utility considers [...]

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Weekly Energy Digest for June 5, 2020

Some energy-related news stories we've been reading this week ... California How Stay-at-Home Orders Derailed Energy Savings for Solana Beach Last month, the Solana Beach community choice energy program reduced the discount it offers customers compared to San Diego Gas & Electric from 3 percent to 1 percent to shore up its bottom line. Now, board members are on the verge of eliminating the discount altogether because of the financial effects the COVID-19 pandemic are projected to have on the standalone community choice aggregation, or CCA, program that serves about 7,000 Solana Beach customers. (San Diego Union-Tribune, June 5) Fire [...]

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