Today, the Third Appellate District affirmed the Sacramento Superior Court judgment from 2013 that dismissed two consolidated lawsuits filed by the California Chamber of Commerce and Morning Star Packing Co against the California Air Resources Board (CARB). These cases attacked the sales of allowances under CARB’s Cap-and-Trade program. The California Chamber of Commerce suit alleged that the AB 32 (California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) did not authorize CARB to impose fees in the form of a cap-and-trade auction beyond those required to recover the costs of administering such a program. The Morning Star Packing suit alleged that even if CARB’s cap-and-trade auction was authorized, the sale of allowances constitute an illegal tax adopted in violation of Proposition 13’s 2/3 approval requirement for taxes. The parties appealed the superior court judgment.
Two recently amended bills, AB 634 and SB 522, address issues faced by residential property owners who live in common interest developments that seek to install rooftop solar. Both bills would amend the Solar Rights Act, but for different purposes. I previously posted about the emerging issue between the Solar Rights Act and Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (DSA) that AB 634 proposes to address. Through a different approach, SB 522 would change the voting requirement for a HOA that mandates association-wide voting for architectural modifications, such as rooftop solar installation. The difference between these bills is discussed below.
Accurately quantifying and allocating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the causal load is a fundamental practice in climate planning. Emissions from unspecified sources remains a blind spot in accurately quantifying and accurately allocating GHG emissions in GHG emission calculations. We previously posted about causation as the basis for attributing GHG emissions from electricity, CAISO’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) GHG emission reporting, as well as AB 1110 and the issue of GHG Intensity Reporting. This post will focus on proposed Assembly Bill 79, as amended on March 21, 2017, to review a proposed legislative solution to resolving the GHG accounting issue from unspecified sources of electricity.
AB 79, as amended on March 21, 2017, seeks to resolve the problem of accurately quantifying greenhouse gases from unspecified sources of electricity purchased by retail suppliers to serve California electric customers. Accurately quantifying GHGs from unspecified sources will better allow allocation of GHG emissions to the load that caused the emissions. Continue reading
Growing popularity of zero and near-zero emission vehicles among consumers and car manufacturers has not gone unnoticed by the legislature. The 2017 legislative session revealed a push in favor of increasing the amount of such vehicles in the State through purchase incentive and tax deduction programs, as well as widespread installation of electric charging infrastructures.
The proposed legislation supports the existing emission reduction Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) and the million electric car Charge Ahead California Initiative (CACI), two measures that facilitate a future where most, if not all Californians, own and regularly use zero or near-zero emission vehicles. The Air Quality Improvement Program is a voluntary incentive program, created by AB 118 (2007) and administered by the State Air Resources Board, that works to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by funding clean vehicle, equipment projects, and research on alternative fuels and air quality. The Charge Ahead California Initiative, created by AB 1275 (2014), sets goals of placing in service at least 1,000,000 zero-emission and near-zero-emission vehicles by January 1, 2023, and in doing so, increase access to such vehicles for disadvantaged, low-income, and moderate-income communities and consumers. This post will provide a brief analysis of the relevant provisions by category. Continue reading
In the 2017 legislative session, there is a clear trend that shows the intent to focus and prioritize energy and climate policy for low-income and disadvantaged communities. This post will provide a short analysis on the priorities broken down by specific area or category.
With the growing installation of solar photovoltaic systems in California, more homeowner’s associations (HOAs) are using a specific provision of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (DSA) (Civil Code Section 4000 et seq.) to regulate the installation of rooftop solar on common area roofs of multi-family common interest developments (apartment, condo complexes, etc.). The DSA defines the form of organization and ownership interest in community apartment projects, condominium projects, planned developments, and stock cooperatives. A specific provision of the DSA governs the restrictions on ownership and transfers of exclusive use of any portion of a common area to a member for the installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal system.
This post will explain the relevant provisions of the DSA and Solar Rights Act (SRA) to frame this residential real estate issue. It will focus on use of statutory ownership rights and transfer of interest between the board of the association that oversees uses in common areas and an individual separate property owner that seeks to install a rooftop solar PV or solar thermal energy system on a common area rooftop. The discussion is limited to built or future residential common interest developments, as defined by Civil Code Section 4100, and excludes both the Subdivided Lands Act (Business and Professions Code Section 11000 et seq.) and Commercial and Industrial Common Interest Development Act (Civil Code Section 6500-6876). Continue reading
GHG Emissions Reporting in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) Energy Imbalance Market (EIM)
On Monday, the CAISO hosted a call to review the Draft GHG Emission Tracking Report and methodology paper that explains the draft’s preliminary results. The report shows estimated GHG emissions for dispatch of internal CAISO resources, net imports (including dynamic resources that are an interchange schedule energy transfer between the CAISO and an outside balancing authority area (BAA) or EIM BAA and another BAA if in the real-time market), and transfers from western EIM entities into the CAISO BAA. This post will discuss these documents to frame the value and limits of this type of reporting by the CAISO. Continue reading