Comments to California’s Public Utilities Commission on Energy Planning
We recently submitted comments to California’s Public Utilities Commission, focused on the economic analysis used in its longer-term energy planning process across utilities. We ask the Commission to exercise caution in coordinating or consolidating this planning with other energy-related proceedings, as different proceedings have different goals and statutory requirements.
Comments on California Electricity Policy Order Instituting Rulemaking to Create a Consistent Regulatory Framework for the Guidance, Planning, and Evaluation of Integrated Distributed Energy Resources
California’s state government is moving forward on electricity and climate policy, likely setting a blueprint for future state and federal action. We submitted comments to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on factual disputes flagged by stakeholders, related to how utilities will use cost-benefit analysis in decisionmaking. We encouraged staff at CPUC to use the Social Cost of Carbon for its interim greenhouse gas adder, use a 3% discount rate for future damages, include other environmental externalities like air pollution in its analysis, and continue considering societal costs to ensure that the benefits justify the costs of a proposed policy.
California Public Utilities Commission- Comments on Interim Greenhouse Gas Adder
We recently submitted comments to the California Public Utilities Commission on their proposal for an interim greenhouse gas adder. The proposal was for an adder that starts at $0 in 2017 and increases linearly to $250 in 2030. We support the use of a greenhouse gas adder. However, our comments suggest that the Commission instead use an adder based on the Interagency Working Group’s Social Cost of Carbon (“SCC”).
California Air Resources Board – Comments on the 2017 Scoping Plan Update
We recently submitted a second set of comments to the California Air Resources Board on its 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update. These comments build on those we submitted in December to ARB on the discussion draft of the scoping plan.
Reply Comments on California Distributed Energy Resources Policy
The California Public Utilities Commission proposed using a Societal Cost Test to help select the combination of distributed energy resource projects that will result in the greatest net benefits to society. We counter the feedback that some stakeholders gave on implementing this approach in our reply comments. We argue that the Commission should: (1) expand its discussion of the legal basis for applying a societal cost test that includes a full range of externalities; (2) use the damage cost approach to determine the value of greenhouse gas abatement, rather than the proposed abatement cost approach; and (3) apply a societal discount rate to the analysis.
Comments on California’s Evaluation Methods for Distributed Energy Resources
We recently submitted comments to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on their proposal to develop a more robust societal cost test to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of distributed energy resources (DERs). California has been a national leader in addressing the challenges associated with DER integration, and this proceeding will help the state to reform their cost-effectiveness framework.
Comments on California’s Clean Cars Program
We recently submitted comments on the California Air Resource Board’s (ARB’s) Midterm Review of its Advanced Clean Cars program, which sets pollution limits and zero-emissions vehicle targets for automobiles sold in California. California is unique among the states in that the Clean Air Act allows it to seek a waiver from EPA to set its own automobile emission targets, which other states can then adopt.
Comments to California Air Resources Board on 2030 Target Scoping Plan Draft
This summer, California extended its greenhouse gas emissions reduction program to 2030 with two companion bills. The legislation modifies how the Air Resources Board (ARB), the state agency responsible for regulating air pollution, should assess proposed policy measures and prioritize goals in designing regulations. ARB staff released a preliminary draft of the scoping plan for how to meet the new 2030 targets in early December and is expected to release a second draft for comment in mid-January. We submitted comments on the December draft, making recommendations on how to structure the scoping plan’s economic analysis to best achieve the goals laid out in ARB’s new mandate.
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