BAC Petitions CPUC to Revise BioMAT Program

BAC has petitioned the CPUC to modify the BioMAT program to meet the requirement of SB 1122 to procure 250 MW of bioenergy from new, small-scale bioenergy facilities.  BAC has asked the CPUC to remove or extend the BioMAT program end date, since SB 1122 contained no end date or offramp of any kind.   BAC also asked the CPUC to make changes to the BioMAT decision that will help to reduce interconnection costs and timelines.

To read BAC’s Petition to the CPUC and its reply to comments on the Petition, click below.

BAC Petition to Modify BioMAT Decision

BAC’s Reply to Responses to its Petition to Modify BioMAT Decision

CA Legislature Passes Bills to Reauthorize Cap & Trade, Low Carbon Fuel Standard

California’s Legislature has passed a package of bills to extend the state’s Cap & Trade program and Low Carbon Fuel Standard to 2030.  The bills passed with a 2/3 vote, which provides much greater legal certainty for the programs than they have had for the past decade.  Although California extended AB 32 with legislation – SB 32 – that passed in 2016, SB 32 passed with only a majority vote.  That was sufficient to extend regulatory programs to reduce climate pollution and to increase the required reduction to a 40 percent reduction by 2030.  The Governor wanted a 2/3 vote for extension of the Cap & Trade program, however, since it involves an optional fee to purchase allowances and could be subject to legal challenges without a 2/3 vote.

The three bills included in the 2/3 vote are:

1) AB 398 (E. Garcia) – extends Cap & Trade and the LCFS programs to 2030; states that the intent of the Legislature is that cap & Trade revenues will focus on reduction of short-lived climate pollutants and other air pollutants, healthy forests and sustainable agriculture, low and zero carbon fuels, and R&D related to clean energy and climate issues.

2) AB 617 (C. Garcia) – increases monitoring and penalty provisions for air quality protection.

3) ACA 1 – requires that an initiative be placed on the 2018 ballot that asks voters to require a 2/3 vote in 2024 to authorize expenditure of Cap & Trade revenues.

ARB Proposal for Low Carbon Transportation Funding

In February, the California Air Resources Board released staff proposals on how ARB would spend the proposed $363 million in Low Carbon Transportation funding (from Cap and Trade revenues) if the Legislature approves the funding later this year.  The staff proposals include funding plans for Low Carbon Fuels and for Heavy Duty Vehicles.  ARB is holding workshops in March to discuss the draft plans.  Details about the workshops are available on ARB’s website.  The staff drafts are below.

ARB staff presentation on Low Carbon Transpo Investments (Feb2017)

ARB HDV 3-year funding plan (Feb2017)

Counties Urge CPUC to Support Biomass and Biogas

Fifteen California counties and the Rural County Representatives of California urge the CPUC to adopt policies to increase baseload and flexible generation power, including biomass and biogas, as part of California’s 50 percent renewable power requirement.  The counties lay out the many benefits of biomass and biogas for ratepayers and the public, including renewable power to complement wind and solar, provide grid stability, reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, protect water and hydropower supplies, protect utility infrastructure from wildfire, and provide economic development in rural communities.

See the Counties’ letter to CPUC

 

BAC Comments on Updated Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy

State agencies released an updated strategy to reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in November 2016.  The updated draft is focused on strategies to reduce methane emissions and human-caused black carbon emissions.  Although SB 605 (Lara, 2014) requires a comprehensive strategy to address all major sources of SLCP’s, the current draft omitted any strategy to reduce black carbon from wildfire, which is the single largest source of SLCP’s.  BAC’s Comments on the updated draft urge the state to restore sections on black carbon from wildfire, which had been included in earlier drafts, as required by SB 605.  The Comments also urge the state to allocate a higher share of Cap & Trade revenues to SLCP reduction and to identify important research needs for SLCP reduction.

See BAC Comments on Nov2016 SLCP Strategy.

BAC Comments on Transportation Plan for 2030 GHG Reductions

The California Air Resources Board has developed a draft plan for reducing climate pollution from the transportation sector.  BAC’s comments on the draft plan focus on the need for greater transparency, specific goals for large trucks that cause a disproportionate share of emissions, focus on lifecycle emissions, and incentives for the most cost-effective emissions reductions.

See BAC Comments on 2030 SP Update (Transportation)