California, the state that helped birth the global boom in battery-toting electric vehicles, is trying to spark a similar transformation for utilities. And that spells trouble for power plants all across the U.S. that run on natural gas.
The California Public Utilities Commission approved an order Thursday that will require PG&E Corp., the state’s biggest utility, to change the way it supplies power when demand peaks. Instead of relying on electricity from three gas-fired plants run by Calpine Corp., PG&E will have to use batteries or other non-fossil-fuel resources to keep the lights on in the most-populated U.S. state.
Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it's worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state's per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).
It's not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s landmark law that sends additional dollars to K-12 students from disadvantaged communities will meet its funding goals two years ahead of schedule under a budget proposal to be unveiled in Sacramento on Wednesday.
The governor’s budget, according to sources who spoke on the condition they not be identified, will commit to full financing of the Local Control Funding Formula at a cost that could be close to $2.6 billion in the fiscal year that begins in July.
Proponents of making a dramatic change to California’s landmark Proposition 13 property tax restrictions took their first step to getting a measure on the November 2018 statewide ballot Friday. The change would allow the state to charge higher property tax rates on commercial and industrial properties, an effort known as “split roll” because existing tax protections on homes would remain in place. Advocates of the measure, including the League of Women Voters of California and community organizing nonprofits California Calls and PICO Network said the change could raise billions of dollars that could be spent on public schools and community colleges.
California climate regulators on Thursday approved a detailed plan for the state to meet its 2030 carbon reduction goals. The effort, known formally as the “scoping plan,” details the state’s strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels over the next 13 years as a way to fight climate change.