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California Energy Markets / This Week
[CEM 1521 / January 11, 2019]
Downgrades Worsen PG&E Financial Woes
Lawmakers, regulators and California’s new governor are grappling with Pacific Gas & Electric’s questionable financial health, and not all are sympathetic toward the utility. S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service downgraded PG&E’s and parent company PG&E Corp.’s credit ratings to “junk” status, adding to the uncertainty around the embattled utility’s future. S&P said its downgrade is a result of a “souring political and regulatory environment.”
RA Proposal Draws Flak at CPUC Meeting
A California Public Utilities Commission proposal that would reform the agency’s resource-adequacy program is drawing criticism from multiple quarters. If approved, the CPUC would adopt a new three-year RA process and appoint distribution utilities as “central buyers” in their respective service territories. At a Jan. 4 all-party meeting, however, community choice aggregator representatives suggested that the overhaul is attempting to fix a reliability problem that doesn’t exist.
Economic Growth, Gas Expansion Lead to Rise in U.S. CO² Emissions
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U.S. carbon emissions likely rose in 2018 for the first time in nearly a decade based on preliminary estimates, an independent research firm said in a new report. Expansion in natural gas-fired generation and an expanding economy are contributing factors, and an unusually cold winter also led to greater fuel usage and a rise in building emissions, it said. The industrial sector posted the largest emissions increase compared with 2017, while transportation had the largest volume of carbon emissions.
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