Archive for the ‘ Energy ’ Category

The Sun: Hidden costs of gas-tax legislation: Jon Coupal

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a press conference regarding a landmark road repair and transportation investment package on April 4, 2017 in Riverside. (Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Jon Coupal
Posted: 04/21/1 – 4:11 PM PDT |

For the last three weeks this column has focused on both the policies and politics of the $5.2 billion annual transportation tax increase. In the unlikely event that some have forgotten — or were on another planet — the taxes include a substantial hike in the car tax as well as a 12 cent increase in the gas tax.

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Chris Megerian
April 6, 2017, – 2:03 p.m.

Reporting from Sacramento—

California’s controversial cap-and-trade program, a cornerstone of the state’s battle against climate change, has been upheld by a state appeals court.

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Los Angeles Daily News: Here’s how California ended up with too much solar power

By David Danelski, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 03/18/17 – 2:47 PM PDT |

California’s power-grid operators are dealing with a glut of daytime electricity produced by household, government, business and industrial solar installations.

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Los Angeles Daily News: Rising cost of crude oil pushes gas prices above $3

Gas prices in the Los Angeles/Orange County region topped $3 a gallon Monday.

By Hannah Madans, hmadans@scng.com, @HannahMadans on Twitter
Posted: 02/27/17 – 7:30 PM PST |

An increase in oil prices and the upcoming implementation of California’s proprietary summer blend has pushed gas above $3 a gallon across much of Southern California.

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Los Angeles Times: CPUC considering modifications to San Onofre nuclear deal

Rob Nikolewski
December 14, 2016

In a ruling made just before the close of business hours Tuesday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) directed Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to meet with groups critical of a 2014 agreement that calls on utility ratepayers to shoulder about 70 percent of the costs from shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

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question-mark

Jeff McDonald
November 30, 2016

The judge who until a few weeks ago was in charge of the long-running San Onofre case before the California Public Utilities Commission has taken a job with a contractor to plant owner Southern California Edison.

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Gas Prices

A consumer advocacy group contends that California refiners are holding down gasoline production to inflate pump prices. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
November 29, 2016

A consumer advocacy group contends that California refiners are holding down gasoline production to inflate prices at the pump.

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California Supreme Court

Jeff McDonald
November 28, 2016

The California Supreme Court has declined to take up a lawsuit seeking release of dozens of emails to and from the Governor’s Office regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

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CPUC

Jeff McDonald
September 29, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown signed five bills Thursday aimed at reform for the California Public Utilities Commission and called on the agency to take additional steps to impose changes of its own.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: State auditor calls for CPUC reforms

Michael Peevey - Poland

The Hotel Bristol Warsaw, where state regulators met with a Southern California Edison executive to discuss San Onofre. (Publicity image)

Jeff McDonald
September 22, 2016

State utility regulators, already under criminal investigation for their ties to monopolies they oversee, should ban gifts and travel from energy companies and trade groups to avoid the appearance of improper relationships, a state audit released Thursday said.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Sanchez calls on feds to take over CPUC probe

Jeff McDonald
By Jeff McDonald |
Sept. 8, 2016 – 5 p.m. |
Sept. 9, 2016 – Updated 7:37 a.m.

Congresswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez called Thursday for a federal takeover of the criminal investigation into the California Public Utilities Commission from her political rival, Attorney General Kamala Harris.

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CPUC

Liam Dillon
August 1, 2016

A major effort to overhaul the state’s energy regulator surprisingly collapsed after late legislative maneuverings led to the unraveling of the broad coalition that had pushed for changes at the scandal-ridden agency.

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San Onofre

2014 photo of San Onofre nuclear power plant. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Liam Dillon
August 28, 2016

For years, state lawmakers have been trying to crack down on private meetings between utility companies and members of the California Public Utilities Commission after revelations that top officials and industry executives had frequent dinner dates, shared talking points and even sketched out details of the multibillion-dollar closure of a Southern California nuclear power plant during a secret rendezvous in a luxury hotel in Poland.

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The San Francisco Chronicle: The mystery behind California’s high gas prices

Gas Prices

Taxes on gasoline in the Golden State tend to be among the country’s highest.

By David R. Baker
August 15, 2016
Updated: August 15, 2016 – 4:47pm

Gasoline is cheap in California compared to a year ago.

But it’s nowhere near as cheap as it could be.

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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

Beach-goers walk on the sand near the San Onofre nuclear power plant in San Clemente. A report from Consumer Watchdog alleges that Southern California Edison, which operated the plant before it was shuttered, donated $130,000 to the California Democratic Party on the same day a Public Utilities Commission official cut a deal to make ratepayers — not shareholders — cover 70 percent of the $4.7 billion cost to close the fatally flawed facility. (AP Photo, Lenny Ignelzi)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 08/10/16 – 10:54 AM PDT |

Twenty-six energy companies with business before the state donated nearly $10 million to Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Democratic Party over the past eight years — donations that often were made within days or weeks of winning favors.

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Gas Prices

Gasoline prices are falling, but a consumer advocacy group contends that energy companies are profiting unfairly. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
August 4, 2016

A consumer advocacy group accused oil refiners of intentionally keeping California’s gasoline prices higher than in the rest of the nation to bolster profits, despite growing inventories and falling wholesale prices.

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Reuters: Wholesale California gasoline prices plunge, consumers still pay up

Gas Prices

Reuters

Markets | Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:06am EDT
HOUSTON | By Liz Hampton and Jessica Resnick-Ault

Wholesale gasoline in California became the cheapest in the country this week, but that change has largely gone unseen at the pump, where consumers are still paying the highest prices in the continental United States to fill up their cars.

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Patrick McGreevy
July 26, 2016 – 11:28 a.m.

A political committee funded by oil companies has launched ads on the Internet attacking state Sen. Connie Leyva of Chino for opposing the reelection of Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown of San Bernardino, a fellow Democrat, and questioning Levya’s party loyalty.

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San Onofre

Southern California Edison argued in a filing with state regulators that a settlement agreement over the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant was fair and reasonable. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

Ivan Penn
July 7, 2016

Southern California Edison on Thursday warned that its customers could face higher costs related to the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant if regulators overturn a settlement agreement.

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Crude OIl

Rob Nikolewski
July 5, 2016

The United States has overtaken industry giants Saudi Arabia and Russia in recoverable oil reserves, an international study released Monday says.

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Gas Prices

Gasoline prices are displayed at a California service station in May 2015. (Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
July 1, 2016

State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has issued subpoenas to oil refiners as part of an investigation into unusually high gasoline prices in California during the last year.

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San Onofre

An independent audit found problems with the California Public Utilities Commission’s hiring of private law firms in connection with investigations on how the commission handled the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s emergency shutdown in 2012. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Jeff McDonald
June 29, 2016

Major reforms may be coming to the California Public Utilities Commission, but the agency still has plenty of room for improvement, auditors said Wednesday.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 28, 2016 – 5:59 PM

  • Public Utilities Commission, Coastal Commission under fire
  • Critics say insiders have too much access to members
  • New bills would place limits on ‘ex parte’ communications

Lawyers love to sprinkle their discourse with Latin phrases, thereby giving them a veneer of erudition.

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The Sacramento Bee: Sweeping Public Utilities Commission changes announced

CPUC

On Monday, June 27, 2016, the day Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced a deal to overhaul the troubled California Public Utilities Commission.

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
June 27, 2016 – 11:19 AM

  • Embattled regulator has faced regular criticism
  • Influencers will need to register as lobbyists
  • Companies such as Uber, Lyft no longer in agency’s enforcement purview

A deal between Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced Monday will bring major changes to the oft-criticized California Public Utilities Commission, including removing the regulator’s enforcement authority over ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

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The Sacramento Bee: California carbon emission auction proceeds fall short

Oops!

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 25, 2016 4:34 PM

  • State had anticipated more than $500 million from sale of allowances
  • The state will see just $10 million from latest auction
  • Shortfall could affect ambitious spending plans, including high-speed rail

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature got some bad news Wednesday about plans to spend more than $3 billion in proceeds from the state’s “cap-and-trade” auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances.

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Red Flag

By Jeff McDonald | May 25, 2016 – 9 p.m.

  • CPUC worked with utility on legal strategy during San Onofre investigation

Even as it was preparing to review a $4.7 billion deal settling costs for the failed San Onofre nuclear plant, the California Public Utilities Commission was working behind the scenes to draft and send subpoenas on behalf of plant owner Southern California Edison.

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Power Lines

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s electric grid, said Tuesday the summer electric supply should meet demand for most of the state but Southern California might lack needed natural gas. (Henry A. Barrios / Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
May 18, 2016

The manager of the state’s electric grid expects current power supplies to meet summer needs for keeping the lights and air conditioning running, except in Southern California, where power plants might lack the needed natural gas.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Moody’s dings Southern California Edison

San Onofre

Reopening San Onofre nuclear settlement a ‘credit negative’

By Rob Nikolewski |
May 17, 2016 – 2:35 p.m.

It’s not a ratings downgrade, but Moody’s Investor Service on Tuesday called reopening the financial details of the San Onofre nuclear plant shutdown a “credit negative” for the plant’s operator, Southern California Edison.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: AG says CPUC probe hasn’t stalled

Kamala Harris

At this past week’s Senate debate, Kamala Harris said of the utilities commission, “We are concerned about what’s going on there, that’s why there’s an active criminal investigation. And the bottom line is this: We are going to go where the facts lead us.” — (Hayne Palmour IV)

By Jeff McDonald |
May 14, 2016 – 8 a.m.

  • Reports of missed deadlines are ‘absolutely incorrect,’ Harris says

Eighteen months ago, when the Attorney General’s Office served a search warrant on the California Public Utilities Commission headquarters in San Francisco, agents carted away computers, files and other materials by the armful.

It was more than a raid. It was a dramatic message to utility regulators: Attorney General Kamala Harris was serious about investigating government corruption.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 10, 2016 – 3:33 PM

  • San Onofre nuclear power plant shut down
  • Secret deal stuck ratepayers with most costs
  • As probe continues, PUC reopens the case

The long-simmering scandal in the state Public Utilities Commission over a secret deal to stick ratepayers with most of the costs of shutting down the San Onofre nuclear power plant just got more interesting.

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Gas Prices

By Nick Green, Daily Breeze
Posted: 05/10/16 – 8:11 AM PDT |

ExxonMobil successfully restarted its Torrance refinery and went without pollution-control devices for fewer than three hours before its electrostatic precipitator resumed operation, the region’s air pollution watchdog has confirmed.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: State to reopen $4.7 billion San Onofre deal

CPUC

Deal left ratepayers to pay most of cost for premature shutdown of failed nuclear power plant

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald |
May 9, 2016 – 4:55 p.m.

State utility regulators on Monday reopened the agreement they approved in 2014 that assigned ratepayers the lion’s share of the multibillion-dollar cost for premature shutdown of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

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Refinery

Flyers were placed on nearly every door within a mile radius of the ExxonMobil refinery notifying residents of the impending restart of the facility. Thursday, May 5, 2016, Torrance, CA. (Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer)

By Nick Green, Daily Breeze
Posted: 05/05/16 – 8:40 PM PDT |

The February 2015 explosion that shuttered the ExxonMobil plant in Torrance was the costliest disruption at a California refinery in the past 16 years, with motorists paying at least $2.4 billion in higher pump prices in the following six months, according to a recent RAND study.

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KPCC: Judge gives ExxonMobil OK to restart Torrance refinery

smiley emoticon

KPCC Staff
May 03, 2016 – 10:58 AM

A judge cleared the way Monday for ExxonMobil to restart its Torrance Refinery after an environmental group sued to keep it shut.

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KPBS: Deadline Passes In Probe Of Secret San Onofre Deal

Kamala Harris

Customers may now have little recourse for accountability for how they were handed a $3.3 billion bill for the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s shutdown after a radiation leak in 2012.

By Amita Sharma
Friday, April 29, 2016

Aired 4/29/16 on KPBS News.

While California Attorney General Kamala Harris gathers steam in her campaign to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, the statute of limitations has run out for her to file charges for a secret meeting in Poland that spawned a San Onofre settlement.

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Shell

By David R. Baker
Friday, April 15, 2016 – Updated 5:04 pm

Fifteen years after blackouts swept the state, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge has found that a division of Shell Oil engaged in fraud and market manipulation during California’s energy crisis, with company traders joking on tape about burning the evidence if they were ever caught.

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Cheryl Brown

Assemblymember Cheryl Brown laughs on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Sacramento, Calif. (Andrew Seng)

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
April 14, 2016 – 12:24 PM

  • Brown under fire for environmental record
  • Faces election challenge from fellow Democrat
  • A California Democrat facing a rare challenge from the left over her environmental record has gotten a $1 million boost from Chevron.

The independent expenditure on behalf of Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, should sharpen the divisions in a race showcasing liberal discontent with business-friendly Assembly Democrats. Environmental and labor groups angered by Brown’s stance on climate legislation last year have backed a challenger and fellow Democrat, attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes.

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Hot Sun

Alice Walton
April 5, 2016

State officials warn that Southern California could face as many as 14 days of scheduled blackouts this summer because of depleted reserves of natural gas caused by the massive leak in Aliso Canyon.

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Kamala Harris

Her office’s criminal investigation of the nuclear plant’s closure has drawn scrutiny as she runs for U.S. Senate.

By Amita Sharma
Evening Edition
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When criminal investigators with the California Attorney General’s Office searched the home of a former top utility regulator early last year, they uncovered evidence that upended a story state officials and a major electric utility had been telling consumers about the deal to pay for the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

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InlandPolitics: California gasoline refiners get their pound of flesh

Gas Prices

Monday, April 4, 2016 – 09:15 a.m.

California and Inland Empire retail unleaded gasoline prices have rocketed about 60 cents from the recent low. Just as gasoline refiners projected!

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CalWatchdog: CalPERS has faith in imperiled energy status quo

calpers

Chris Reed
March 28, 2016

Is the California Public Employees’ Retirement System about to make another big mistake with a mistimed investment strategy, this time in the industrial solar sector?

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The Sacramento Bee: CalPERS makes big California solar investment

calpers

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler

dkasler@sacbee.com
March 23, 2016 – 1:46 PM

  • Company operates big solar facilities near Palm Springs
  • Plants sell energy to utilities in California

CalPERS said Wednesday that it’s buying a significant stake in a solar energy company with operations near Palm Springs.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Complaint alleges PG&E conflict by Brown’s top aide

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a bill with advisers including Executive Secretary Nancy McFadden. [Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press file]

By Jeff McDonald & Patrick McGreevy |
March 11, 2016 – 6 p.m.

A consumer advocacy group filed a complaint Friday with the state ethics agency seeking an investigation into whether the top aide to Gov. Jerry Brown influenced appointments to the state Public Utilities Commission while she owned stock in PG&E, an allegation rejected immediately by the Governor’s Office.

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InlandPolitics: Gas prices: The Golden State Gouge

Gas Prices

Friday, February 26, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

The Golden State Gouge!

I had never heard the phrase until Friday morning. But it would appear to be appropriate.

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Associated Press

By Don Thompson, Associated Press
February 23, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s tax board voted Tuesday to lower the state excise tax on gasoline by 2.2 cents per gallon as of July 1.

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Exxon Mobil

An Exxon Mobil ship sailed for 70 days off the coast of Singapore but never picked up fuel for California from the company’s two refineries there. Above, an Exxon tanker truck. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
February 9, 2016

There’s an unusual new entry to the long list of reasons why Californians spent the last year paying significantly more for gasoline than other U.S. drivers: a mystery ship.

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Capital Public Radio: Why Are You Paying $.77 More For A Gallon Of Gas?

Capitol Public Radio

Bob Moffitt
Monday, February 8, 2016 | Sacramento, CA

The California Petroleum Market Advisory Commission heard testimony from oil company and consumer groups today explaining why we’re paying 77 cents-per-gallon more for gas than the rest of the country.

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Gas Prices

A variety of factors have conspired to boost California gasoline prices. A gas tax, state and local taxes and a federal excise tax are just part of the cause. (The Associated Press)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 02/08/16 – 5:56 PM PST |

California motorists have long complained about high prices at the pump, but few drivers are aware of all the factors that push gasoline prices so high.

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The San Francisco Chronicle: Solar homeowners win big in California ruling, for now

Solar panels

By David R. Baker
January 28, 2016
Updated: January 28, 2016 – 3:44pm

The solar industry scored a major victory Thursday when a divided California Public Utilities Commission voted to keep largely intact the system that compensates solar homeowners for excess electricity that they place on the grid.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Judge calls for review of CPUC emails

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald
Jan. 25, 2016 | Updated – 5:05 p.m.

  • Ruling: Utilities commission won’t get last word on withholding San Onofre emails

A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Monday rejected the California Public Utilities Commission’s request to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at forcing regulators to release dozens of emails to and from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

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InlandPolitics: As California gas prices slowly edge lower – a look at taxes

Gasoline Taxes 10-01-2015

(Source: American Petroleum Institute – 10/01/15)

Friday, January 22, 2016 – 09:30 a.m

Price Alert! The average price of unleaded gas in California has dropped to a whopping $2.701 per gallon, according to tracking website Gasbuddy.com.

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InlandPolitics: California Driver’s continue to get hosed at the gas pump

Gas Prices

Monday, January 18, 2016 – 11:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 18, 2016 – 05:00 p.m.

As crude oil prices hit multi-year lows, California continues to get hosed by gasoline refiners.

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Gas Prices

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

It’s time for California taxpayers to float bonds to construct and lease, at a minimum, two mega-gasoline refineries within the state.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Judge overseeing San Onofre case steps down

Jeff McDonald
By Jeff McDonald |
Jan. 5, 2016 – 5:38 p.m.

The judge who has overseen the matter of the San Onofre nuclear plant failure for the California Public Utilities Commission has stepped down amid the ongoing criminal investigation at the agency.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Criminal probe focuses on San Onofre response

CPUC

Warrant examines utilities commission, Edison meetings and UCLA grant funds

By Jeff McDonald and Ricky Young |
Dec. 29, 2015 – 5:00 p.m.

A state criminal investigation into the California Public Utilities Commission centers around former President Michael Peevey’s persistent intervention into the process to assign costs for the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant, newly released court documents show.

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Gas Prices

Monday, December 28, 2015 – 09:45 a.m.

Every knew they wouldn’t let it go on for too long.

“They” being oil companies. “It” being low gasoline prices.

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Gas Prices

Ivan Penn
December 16, 2015

California’s stubbornly high gasoline prices in 2015 resulted from state regulations, trouble with imports and an outage at a major refinery, the oil refining industry told regulators Wednesday.

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Los Angeles Times: California regulators propose new rooftop solar fees

Solar Panels

Solar proponents have been rallying to block changes to rooftop solar costs. On Tuesday, state regulators proposed new fees for solar customers.

Ivan Penn
December 15, 2015

Rooftop solar panel owners could face new fees under a proposal issued Tuesday, but state regulators rejected several recommendations by utility companies that threatened the expansion of residential and commercial solar efforts.

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Diablo Canyon

Jearl Strickland, director of technical services at the Diablo Canyon plant, has worked on it since before it opened. (Photo: Nancy Pastor, for The SF Chronicle)

By David R. Baker
November 14, 2015
Updated: November 14, 2015 –  7:22pm

AVILA BEACH, San Luis Obispo County — California’s largest power plant churns out enough electricity for 1.7 million homes, yet pumps no greenhouse gases into the sky. Unlike the wind farms and solar plants spreading across the state, its output doesn’t vary hour by hour, day or night. It needs little land and less fuel.

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The Sun: The hidden costs of wind, solar power: Guest commentary

Wind Turbines (Getty Images)

Wind turbines. (Getty Images)

By Neil Derry
Posted: 11/13/15 – 1:25 PM PST |

The state of California has embarked on a 25-year green power odyssey in an effort to reduce the amount of carbon we place into the atmosphere, all aimed at leading the world in an anti-climate change crusade for humanity.

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Los Angeles Times: Obama says he is rejecting the controversial Keystone oil pipeline

Keystone Pipeline Oklahoma

The Obama administration will deny the federal permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, officials say.

Christi Parsons and Paul Richter
November 6, 2015

President Obama announced Friday that he was rejecting the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline project because it wouldn’t serve U.S. interests, dismissing its potential economic benefits as insignificant over time as he sought to close a long-running chapter in the political fight over global warming.

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Lou Desmond

Friday, November 6, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

The Lou Desmond and Company Show is broadcasting from the Toyota of San Bernardino Recording Studios!

On the Lou Desmond and Company Show, Lou is joined by Ed Hoffman to discuss the ongoing issues in Europe with Middle Eastern refugees. Munich has had recent issues with rape, sexual molestation and harassment. The cultures aren’t mixing well. Who could have predicted that?

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Judge consulted Edison on San Onofre deal

CPUC

Utilities commission says call was appropriate, critics say regulator is compromised.

By Jeff McDonald | Oct. 21, 2015 – 8:22 p.m.

As criticism mounted last year of a settlement deal that billed utility customers for 70 percent of the $4.7 billion cost of failure at the San Onofre nuclear plant, the state judge assigned to the case reached out to plant owner Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 10/13/15 – 10:53 AM PDT | Updated: 15 hrs ago

A consumer advocacy group testified Tuesday that California oil refiners are gouging motorists by hiking retail gasoline prices well above the wholesale price of gas traded within the oil industry.

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Exxon Mobil Refinery

An explosion at the Exxon Mobile refinery in Torrance damaged a pollution control system and forced the plant to reduce operations to 20% of normal production. (Christina House / For the Los Angeles Times)

Ivan Penn
October 13, 2014

An advisory committee to the California Energy Commission wanted to discuss the causes of the high gasoline prices in the state this summer during a workshop Tuesday — only the oil refiners and their association refused to show.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: State closes probe of CPUC president

fppc logo

Political commission says no further disclosure required on tribute dinner

By Jeff McDonald | Oct. 2, 2015 – 6:07 p.m.

State elections regulators have cleared the California Public Utilities Commission president of any wrongdoing related to a February gala dinner honoring his predecessor.

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Refinery

By Nick Green, Daily Breeze
Posted: 09/30/15 – 7:56 PM PDT |

The buyer of ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery is a little-known company that has existed only seven years but will become the nation’s fifth largest independent refiner once the deal is consummated next year.

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Solar Panels

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), center, helps as SolarCity employees Jarret Esposito, left, and Jake Torwatzky install rooftop solar panels on a south Denver home in 2010. San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity operates in 19 states. (Ed Andrieski / Associated Press)

By Ivan Penn
September 26, 2015

Tired of growing electricity bills, Miguel Espinoza decided to turn to the sun, rather than the grid, for power.

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Gas Prices

The California Air Resources Board is expected to decide, on Friday, to restore rules requiring a 10 precent cut in carbon emissions on fuels sold in the state, by 2020, despite oil industry objections that it could drive up gas prices.

By Judy Lin, Associated Press
Sept. 25, 2015 | 12:38 a.m. EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators are poised to restore a first-in-the-nation climate change program that requires a 10 percent cut in carbon emissions on transportation fuels sold in the state by 2020, despite oil industry objections that it could drive up gas prices.

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Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown, center, listens Wednesday to Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, left, and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins as they announce they will abandon efforts this year to require a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in motor vehicles by 2030.

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
September 10, 2015

  • Governor says controversy gets more coverage for climate change
  • Brown also credits loss with increasing his ‘zeal’
  • Dropping petroleum reduction mandate a major win for oil companies

Gov. Jerry Brown gets his way with the California Legislature so often that his defeat on major climate and transportation initiatives this week put him in an unusual defensive spot.

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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

Southern California Edison, one of the two utilities that owns the plant, wants state regulators to keep a settlement agreement in place that leaves customers on the hook for $3.3 billion of the $4.7-billion cost to close the facility. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

By Ivan Penn
September 10, 2015

Southern California Edison asked state regulators Thursday to reject calls to reopen the settlement agreement over the closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

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Rate Increase

By David R. Baker
September 1, 2015
Updated: September 1, 2015 5:17pm

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Tuesday asked state regulators for permission to collect an extra $2.7 billion from its customers over the course of three years, using the money for technology upgrades and improved disaster response.

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InlandPolitics: California gasoline inventories climbing

Gas Prices

Friday, August 21, 2015 – 01:30 p.m.

California gasoline stockpiles at in-state refineries are climbing.

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Wall Street

Friday, August 21, 2015 – 01:00 P.M.

Global stock markets plunged on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging 530 points. The S&P 500 fell 65 points, while the Nasdaq fell 171 points.

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SCE

Pressure is building to reopen the agreement that saddles Southern California consumers with more than $3 billion in costs for shuttering the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

By Teri Sforza / Staff Columnist
Updated Aug. 21, 2015 7:18 a.m.

Southern California Edison did its very best to figure out which chitchats between its executives and state regulators were “substantive” enough to require disclosure to the rest of the world, it argued in a legal filing Thursday. But those rules are murky, people’s recollections change, and Edison has beefed up tracking company communications with state regulators as a result, to better sort the wheat from the chaff.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Oversight of San Onofre shutdown questioned

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | Noon Aug. 15, 2015

When Southern California Edison replaced the steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear plant, state regulators allowed the utility to start billing customers for the upgrade without the benefit of what’s called a “reasonableness review.”

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InlandPolitics: Gas Prices: Oil companies just can’t help themselves

Gas Prices

Friday, August 14, 2015 – 08:30 a.m.

Oil companies just can’t help themselves when it comes to sticking it to Southern California drivers.

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calpers

calstrs

By Dean Starkman
August 13, 2015

California’s two major public pension funds, the biggest in the nation, lost a total of more than $5 billion on energy-related investments for their fiscal years, ended June 30, according to a new report.

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Lou Desmond

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

The Lou Desmond and Company Show is broadcasting from the Toyota of San Bernardino Recording Studios!

On the show today, Paul Chabot and Cliff Cummings join the show to talk about an idea floating in California: a per-mile gas tax to pay for infrastructure upgrades. Couldn’t the money come from somewhere else? (Like the Bullet Train.)

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Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald
Aug. 10, 2015 – Updated –  5:07 p.m.

  • State office says customers are not getting fair shake from utility commission judge

Another consumer group that negotiated the $4.7 billion settlement of San Onofre shutdown costs backed away from the agreement Monday, withdrawing support from the deal that charges customers 70 percent of the tab for the nuclear plant’s failure.

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InlandPolitics: To sum it up – Gas prices were manipulated

Gas Prices

Sunday, August 9, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.

The California Energy Commission issued its latest refinery activity report on Wednesday, and it was essentially the same as the past four weeks.

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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

IE Business Daily

August 8, 2015

Why don’t our elected officials or the media care?

The shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generation plant permanently eliminated over 2000 Megawatts of electrical power from California’s electricity supplies. This is approximately 20 percent of Southern California’s total electrical energy supply.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Third man from Poland meeting speaks

Michael Peevey - Poland

The Hotel Bristol Warsaw, where state regulators met with a utility executive.

By Jeff McDonald | Aug. 6, 2015 – 5:37 p.m.

  • Witness says Edison executive presented San Onofre settlement vision

The third man in the room for a secret meeting in Poland two years ago says in a sworn declaration that the Southern California Edison executive at the hotel actively participated in the undisclosed talks about the failed San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

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Daily Bulletin: Report highlights overly high gas prices in California

Gas Prices

A new report from Consumer Watchdog reveals that since California’s record gasoline price spike began in February, Californians have paid $4.8 billion more than the rest of the nation for regular gasoline. (Chuck Bennett/Torrance Daily Breeze/File)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 08/05/15 – 7:12 PM PDT |

BY THE NUMBERS
A new report from Consumer Watchdog shows that Californians are getting gouged at the pump.
  • Californians have paid more than $4.8 billion more than the rest of the country for regular gasoline since the price spike began in February.
  • Refiner margins — the amount of money they collect for each gallon of gasoline — set a record for California in July at $1.61 for branded stations.
  • Valero’s California profits hit $294 million during the second quarter of 2015 — 11 times more than a year earlier.
  • Californians often pay $1 more per gallon for gas than the national average.
Source: Consumer Watchdog

Southland motorists are used to getting gouged at the pump.

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Michael Peevey

At a March 2013 private meeting between a utility executive and then-president Mike Peevey of the California Public Utilities Commission, a framework for the San Onofre closure deal was discussed.

By Jeff McDonald | Aug. 5, 2015 – 6:36 p.m.

  • Advocates are seeking $34 million or more in penalties for undisclosed meetings

Southern California Edison on Wednesday was found to have violated rules prohibiting backchannel communications at least 10 times in its dealings with regulators over the failed San Onofre nuclear plant.

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