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California Energy Markets / This Week
[CEM 1272 / February 28, 2014]
Steinberg Bill Puts Carbon Tax on Fuels; De Leon Floats Green-Bank Idea
Fossil-fuel suppliers would be exempted from California's cap-and-trade program under a bill introduced by Sen. Darrell Steinberg. Instead of coming under the cap, which steadily decreases by 2020, a carbon tax starting at 15 cents a gallon next year would be imposed on the fuels sector. And at a Feb. 27 committee hearing on energy efficiency, Sen. Kevin De Leon fielded input on the concept of a green bank, including from officials from Connecticut and New York, the only two states in the country that have formed such enterprises.
CPUC Lets Existing Generation Bid for Power Needs
The CPUC updated rules in a long-term procurement planning case to let utilities take bids from existing generation facilities in new-generation requests for offers. The commission decision also requires utilities to better forecast their departing loads and to match procurement to the load that they keep.
Carbon Permits Sell Out at Cap-and-Trade Auction
The state's sixth cap-and-trade auction on Feb. 19 netted close to $330 million for the state and ratepayers as more than 28 million current and future-vintage carbon allowances-the full lot that was available for sale-were snapped up by participants. Analysts said the settlement prices-which were higher than the floor prices for both 2014 and 2017 allowances, but not by much-were in line with expectations, even though demand and participation were down from previous auctions. Despite the results, some state lawmakers are now considering a major change to cap and trade.
Edison Looks to Wires Spending, Distributed Power
With falling power sales, the bankruptcy of a power-generation subsidiary, and the shutdown of a nuclear power plant, Edison International sees a future in which it will invest in poles, wires, and distributed clean power. The company also said one of its chief focus areas this year is resolving uncertainties related to cost recovery for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
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