PG&E fined $2.14 billion for wildfires

CALIFORNIA: California regulators impose a $2.14 billion penalty against PG&E for the utility’s role in causing catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: California’s Energy Commission has been exploring how advanced energy technologies could save Californians from more planned power outages. (GreenBiz)

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CLIMATE:
• Oregon’s House Democratic leader subpoenas 21 Republican House lawmakers over their unexcused absences, which have prevented a vote on cap and trade legislation and stalled other key bills. (Register-Guard, Associated Press)
• Small farmers in Oregon are voicing their support for cap and trade in the state.

Feds demand $4 billion from California over wildfires

CALIFORNIA: In a bankruptcy hearing, FEMA argues that PG&E owes the federal government $4 billion for disaster response, saying the company’s poor maintenance is akin to starting wildfires on purpose. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO:
• A federal bankruptcy judge ruled PG&E investors may not bring claims against the utility, ultimately because of the amount of “chaos” such actions could create. (Jurist)
• PG&E’s CEO says there would be “dire consequences” for the utility if it’s bankruptcy plan isn’t approved by California’s June 30 deadline. (Bloomberg Law)

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HYDROPOWER: NGOs say Southern California Edison’s plan to purchase 5 MW of hydropower from Oregon’s Bonneville Power Administration may be a “groundbreaking” way to advance energy efficiency.

Oregon Republicans’ walkout highlights deeper divide on climate

CLIMATE: Despite numerous concessions, Oregon House Republicans join their Senate colleagues in a walkout over climate legislation, with one Democratic leader saying “nothing will ever be enough for them.” (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• ExxonMobil is to pay $1 million as part of a settlement reached with New Mexico over a 2010 petroleum contamination lawsuit. (Associated Press)
• An appeals court has given Kern County, California 30 days to stop issuing permits until the county can correct violations of the California Environmental Quality Act. (Associated Press)

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CALIFORNIA:
• PG&E’s CEO tries to assure California wildfire victims and regulators that resolving the utility’s safety issues is its top priority. (Associated Press)
• PG&E’s $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims has many worried that they will be the lowest priority in the payout.

Oregon Republicans stage another walkout over climate bill

CLIMATE: In a repeat of 2019, Oregon Republicans walked out of the state legislature yesterday to prevent a vote on cap and trade legislation, but Democrats believe they will eventually prevail. (Oregon Capital Bureau, KATU)

ALSO:
• Concerns are growing over Colorado’s new climate plan which includes phasing out the use of certain hydrofluorocarbons, which account for less than 1% of Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions annually. (Westword)
• Helena, Montana officials pass a resolution setting a goal to switch to “100% clean, renewable electricity” by 2030. (KTVH)

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ELECTRIFICATION: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill into law preventing cities and towns in Arizona from banning natural gas hookups.

Oregon could see repeat of Republican climate walkout

CLIMATE: As Oregon Republicans threaten to walk out of the state legislature over climate legislation again, Gov. Kate Brown tries to reach a compromise. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

ALSO: More than 50 Colorado environmental groups are demanding more aggressive climate action from Gov. Jared Polis’ administration. (Colorado Public Radio) 

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CALIFORNIA:
• PG&E faces a barrage of criticism during a nearly three-hour meeting on the utility’s planned power shutoffs in a central California county.