Erin Brockovich warns against utility bankruptcy

PG&E BANKRUPTCY: California’s largest utility has secured $5.5 billion to help fund operations while it reorganizes under bankruptcy, a process expected to last about two years. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: Activist Erin Brockovich, who became famous by fighting PG&E over toxic water pollution in the 1990’s, says California shouldn’t let the utility go bankrupt because it will mean less money for wildfire victims. (Associated Press)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Betting on the continued increase in electric vehicle sales, a Canadian company is trying to extract a vast lithium deposit in northern Nevada.

Feds asks Hawaii to slow down wind farm approvals over bat concerns

WIND: Federal wildlife managers have asked utility regulators in Hawaii to stop approving new wind farms until they can review plans to make sure there are no impacts to an endangered bat. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

PG&E BANKRUPTCY:
• Bankruptcy of California’s largest utility could derail its pledge to pay for improved monitoring and firefighting efforts. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• The pending bankruptcy of PG&E underscores the accelerating risks climate change poses to energy companies, insurers and governments. (E&E News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Projects that show promise reducing greenhouse gas emissions or promoting uptake can apply for one of 10 Keeling Curve Prizes of $25,000 each. Categories: Energy Access, Carbon Capture & Utilization, Transportation, Social & Cultural Impacts, and Finance.

Colorado governor unveils plan to boost electric vehicles

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Colorado’s governor issues a sweeping executive order aimed at getting more electric vehicles on the road. (Colorado Sun)

PG&E BANKRUPTCY:
• PG&E’s bankruptcy could be devastating for clean energy developers doing business with the utility. (New York Times)
• A federal judge in San Francisco overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation from a 2010 case determines many of the locations of the utility’s power lines were conducive to fires. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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POLITICS:
• The latest campaign reports show that the parent company of Arizona’s largest utility spent $37.9 million to defeat a clean energy initiative.

Idaho’s GOP governor acknowledges climate change

CLIMATE: Idaho’s newly-sworn in Republican governor says climate change is real and “reversing it is going to be a big darn job.” (Associated Press)

PG&E BANKRUPTCY:
• As PG&E teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, other California utilities are looking less attractive to investors worried about the state’s climate change woes. (Bloomberg)
• San Francisco’s municipal utility is considering buying PG&E’s electrical assets in the city to ensure the smooth delivery of power in the wake of the company’s planned bankruptcy filing. (Utility Dive)
• Some southern California officials and environmental advocates are worried PG&E’s bankruptcy might affect the decommissioning time table for nuclear plant. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Law Seminars International’s annual “Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West” Conference, January 24-25 in Seattle, features former FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, state commissioners and leading energy experts. Register Today!***

SOLAR:
• San Diego has a lot of room left for large-scale solar projects, according to a recent site survey compiled by a California nonprofit.

Utility bankruptcy threatens California climate progress

PG&E BANKRUPTCY: PG&E’s bankruptcy could jeopardize California’s plan to fight climate change through investing in renewable energy projects. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
• A once obscure legal doctrine has played a major role in driving California’s largest utility to the brink of bankruptcy. (Bloomberg)
• A Northern California decimated by a deadly wildfire last year sues PG&E one day after its signals its plans to file for bankruptcy. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Law Seminars International’s annual “Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West” Conference, January 24-25 in Seattle, features former FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, state commissioners and leading energy experts. Register Today!***

COAL:
• Washington state lawmakers are set to consider a plan that calls for phasing out coal power in six years, a move that could force a Montana plant to close years ahead of schedule.