BAC Supports Phoenix Energy Motion to Compel PG&E

Despite repeated orders from the CPUC telling PG&E that it does not have the authority to suspend BioMAT procurement, PG&E has tried yet again by announcing that it will not sign BioMAT contracts until a federal court case involving the ReMAT has been resolved.  That could be years.  Meanwhile, the CPUC has ordered PG&E to continue BioMAT procurement, but PG&E will not sign any new BioMAT contracts until the CPUC orders it – yet again – to do so.

Fortunately, Phoenix Energy filed a motion to compel PG&E to execute BioMAT contracts.  BAC filed this joint response with the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, Placer County Air Pollution Control District, and Aries Clean Energy in support of Phoenix Energy’s motion.

R. 11-05-005 Joint Response to Phoenix Motion to Compel

PG&E’s Motion to Suspend BioMAT

In the early days of the BioMAT proceeding, PG&E asked the California Public Utilities Commission for the authority to suspend the BioMAT if PG&E suspected market manipulation or other problems with the program.  The CPUC rejected PG&E’s request in no uncertain terms, saying that to give PG&E that authority would remove the Commission’s own responsibility for oversight of the program (and the utility).  Despite the Commission’s clear reject of PG&E’s proposal, PG&E announced on December 1, 2017 that it would suspend BioMAT procurement effective December 31.

Read the PG&E MotiontoSuspendBioMAT

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)