{Vintage 1996} Calif Electric Utility Restructuring

VINTAGE R|CAT, circa 1996
Part of restarting my environmental and energy management consulting practice has involved sifting and sorting through archived files – electronic and paper – reliving project memories, and deciding what to retain and what to recycle. This is part of refreshing R|CAT.


heading_title_v10This post is the start of my sharing scoping comments I submitted to the regulatory agency, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in 1996. I submitted comments optimistically believing I would receive responses to each of my questions. I did not. While in retrospect, I may have been naive, as I review my comments, I am glad to have a record of my 1996 perspectives – many of which are still relevant in today’s on-going environmental and energy discussions, debates, emerging issues, and regulatory and policy framework.

Blue Book.  If you were directly or even indirectly serving the energy sector in California in 1994, then you know this reference. Remember the California Electric Utility Industry Restructuring pursuits? Remember September 1996 and AB 1890?

I do. I do VERY MUCH.

01.30.13_south_bay_power_plant_credit_port_of_sd_t670_t658

South Bay Power Plant, Chula Vista, CA – Image from the San Diego Reader

I quit an IOU in 1994. Restructuring pursuits served as my inspiration to quit my utility job and hone in on what I could do as part of the future of restructuring. The CPUC issued the Blue Book in April 1994. I was still working for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). I worked in the Environmental Department, as part of the corporate air quality team. On November 15, 1994, I quit my job to figure out “What’s next?” In 1996, AB 1890 legislation passed.

(TRIVIA: What is the relevance of the date November 15?*)

AB 1890. The Electric Utility Industry Restructuring Act (Assembly Bill 1890), became law in 1996. Here is an NREL report over here that includes a summary of California’s restructruring. Prior to passage of AB 1890, the CPUC held several scoping meetings throughout California to receive public comments.

RCAT_CPUC Cvr LtrScoping Comments for AB 1890

I submitted comments. I did not receive responses to them. If responses were published, I was not sent the follow-up information. Nevertheless, I submitted comments. The template format I used for providing comments on select topics included four sections –

  • Current scenario
  • Possible future scenario
  • Questions
  • Alternative

The five select topics on which I commented were –

A – Renewables in the Resource Mix

B – Power generation sources in compliance to contribute to attainment efforts

C – Power supply from transmission line or generation siting and FERC’s Order 888/889

D – Emission Valuation Offsets, Reductions, Allowances, Externalities, Caps

E – Air quality and energy management policies

Subsequent blog posts will include excerpts of the scoping comments I provided, as well as perspectives about the current regulatory and policy landscape.

*ANSWER:
The anniversary of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

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