PG&E Warns of 3rd PSPS Event of the Year for Northern California
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) today issued a press release warning its customers that the third Public Power Safety Shutoff (PSPS) of the year may be called this week, as a result of a forecast of high winds and dry conditions coupled with temperatures reaching the mid 90’s. PG&E stressed that the most difficult period this week could be Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. However, PG&E also stated that a second event may materialize on Thursday afternoon and could last through Friday. PSPS events are designed to reduce the threat of wildfires that could be caused by high winds and [...]
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, [...]
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.
Commission Says PG&E ‘Making Progress’ but Questions Remain
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 [...]
Board Chair in Hot Water over Tweet
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 [...]
Two Split Roll Initiatives Qualify for the November Ballot
On May 29, the Secretary of State (SOS) announced that a second split-roll initiative has qualified for the ballot. The initiative, called “Schools and Communities First,” is a constitutional amendment that changes how California taxes commercial and industrial properties.
Pumped Storage Legislation Advancing
As we have been reporting, there are two bills dealing with the NextEra Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project: one is currently being held in committee, and the other passed unanimously and is on its way to the Appropriations Committee where it will likely be held – at least for a while.
Bulk Storage Bill Gets Big Opposition
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.
Utilities Committee Offers Guidance on What to Expect
As Chairman of the Utilities and Energy Committee, California Assemblyman Chris Holden sent guidance to his committee suggesting the likelihood of being able to hear a limited number of bills in the balance of this session.
Draft Proposal Would Change Renewable Portfolio Standard
Labor lobbyists began circulating language that would seek to change the current renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in California.
LAO Urges Legislators to Reject Newsom’s Climate Loan Proposal
In a report released on February 13, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), a nonpartisan advisory agency for the state legislature, said the governor's Climate Catalyst Loan Fund would be problematic and questioned the State’s ability to even identify the right projects to qualify.
Muratsuchi Seeks to Shutter OTC Plants, Against CPUC Proposal to Extend Operating Permits
On February 4, 2020, California State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi proposed a bill to shutter the five, once-through cooling (OTC) plants that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently recommended for permit extensions. These plants, which use ocean water for cooling, are currently slated for decommissioning by the end of 2020.
Legislature/City of Glendale: Last Repowered Natural Gas Plant – Maybe?
The Glendale City Council unanimously approved its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) which included a repowering of the City’s Grayson facility. The City of Glendale approved a 93-megawatt peaking plant and a 50-megawatt storage facility in the IRP. This is a dramatic change from the initial proposal last year which called for a 262-megawatt natural gas facility. The IRP also calls for “continued reliance on GWP’s remaining, existing generation and transmission resources, including Grayson Unit 9, Magnolia and Intermountain Power Plant” – two natural gas and one coal facility. In addition, 130 MW of additional solar and 130 MW of wind [...]