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California braces for PG&E bankruptcy; Congress adds new energy members

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


California braces for PG&E bankruptcy; Congress adds new energy members

Concerns grow as California braces for PG&E bankruptcy

In the wake of PG&E Corp.'s disclosure that it and its utility subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co., or PG&E, are preparing to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection related to billions of dollars of potential liabilities from devastating 2017 and 2018 wildfires in Northern California, Gov. Gavin Newsom, along with state lawmakers and regulators, vowed to keep the lights on while protecting ratepayers and fire victims.

With reorganization inevitable, PG&E Corp.'s bankruptcy strategy is opaque

While PG&E Corp. and utility subsidiary PG&E made clear that they intend to seek bankruptcy protection later in January as wildfire liabilities mount, their outlook is hard to pin down because it ultimately may require a political solution with state lawmakers, according to attorneys and analysts with experience in the industry.

Calif. regulators seek to keep PG&E solvent while meeting wildfire costs

California utility regulators agreed to examine how to divide the costs of wildfire liability between utilities and ratepayers so that safe and adequate electricity service is not impaired.

California orders utilities to adopt electric equipment security plans

California regulators ordered all publicly owned and investor-owned electric utilities throughout the state to adopt security plans to reduce physical risks to essential distribution facilities.

Wheeler spars with Democrats on EPA's energy proposals at confirmation hearing

Democratic lawmakers during a closely watched Senate confirmation hearing grilled U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Acting Chief Andrew Wheeler, nominated a week earlier to officially lead the agency, on the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda and his past work as a fossil fuel lobbyist.

US EPA nominee's hearing on track despite calls for delay amid shutdown

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler's confirmation hearing will occur as planned despite calls from opponents to postpone the proceedings until the partial government shutdown is over.

US Congress adds new energy members, 'climate change' to House panel title

As the new U.S. Congress moved through its second week, party leaders made headway filling rosters for energy-relevant committees and rebranded one subcommittee to reflect the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives' increased focus on climate change.

Study: US EPA's Affordable Clean Energy rule to hike emissions in several states

Although it may drive a slight decline in the nation's overall carbon dioxide emissions in the next decade, the EPA's proposed Affordable Clean Energy, or ACE, rule will raise the output of carbon and/or criteria pollutants in roughly 20 states, a new study found.

Shutdown could hamper US EPA's efforts to lock in Trump's top energy rules

As the partial federal government shutdown over President Donald Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall stretches on, the rulemaking process at the EPA has ground to a halt. And that could imperil some of the Trump administration's signature energy-related rulemakings, according to former top EPA officials with expertise on the policy process.

Watchdog group alleges acting US EPA chief may have broken ethics pledge

A government watchdog group asked the EPA's inspector general to investigate whether Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler violated an ethics pledge by participating in rulemakings championed by his former lobbying client, Murray Energy Corp.

Democrats scrutinize EPA's efforts to prep acting chief for confirmation hearing

Senate Democrats say they are "concerned" that the EPA could be running afoul of both its contingency plan and federal law during the partial government shutdown by preparing Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler for his upcoming confirmation hearing. But the EPA's top lawyer says any activity being undertaken by agency personnel is on solid legal footing.

Divided appeals court upholds FERC decision on transmission incentive for SDG&E

A decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to disallow a utility's recovery of transmission investment costs it incurred in the past is consistent with the agency's rule addressing incentive rate treatment and the goal underlying that rule, according to a federal appeals court.

SC regulators will not reconsider SCANA merger approval

South Carolina regulators will not reconsider their decision to approve Dominion Energy Inc.'s acquisition of SCANA Corp., rejecting applications for rehearing from the state's utility watchdog and environmental groups.