February 16, 2017 - In this analysis, we recommend two modifications to the Governor's proposed 2017-18 budget for the California Public Utilities Commission: (1) convert funding for one position in the Consumer Affairs Branch from permanent to two-year limited-term and (2) reject request for one position to publish contract information online.
February 27, 2020 - The Governor’s budget proposes $1.7 billion for the California Public Utilities Commission. In this post, we provide our recommendations on the proposed budget for the California LifeLine Program.
March 10, 2023 - This brief considers the Governor’s proposals to (1) establish a new central procurement role for the state to secure energy resources, and (2) require electric utilities that experience energy deficiencies to make payments for state-operated emergency backup electricity resources.
October 17, 2019 - The 2019-20 budget includes over $12 billion for the state’s natural resources and environmental protection programs. This post describes budgetary actions related to the annual cap-and-trade expenditure plan, support for a new safe and affordable drinking water program, funding for a variety of wildfire prevention and response activities, as well as other significant changes.
February 20, 2002 - A multiplicity of agencies, and evidence of certain duplicative activities and other problems, suggests that it is time for the state to "stand back" and assess how its various energy-related entities are organized and interacting with one another.
February 22, 2022 - This brief provides overarching comments on the Governor's $2 billion clean energy package and recommendations related to a few of the proposed programs.
August 29, 2023 - Presented to: Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications
February 16, 2016 - The Governor’s budget for 2016–17 proposes a total of $9 billion in expenditures from various sources for programs administered by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.
January 6, 2023 - This post provides an overview of newly enacted legislation addressing the state's greenhouse gas emissions and clean energy goals, energy sources, and oil and gas extraction policies.
February 19, 2015 - The Governor’s budget for 2015-16 proposes a total of $9.3 billion in expenditures from the General Fund, various special funds, bond funds, and federal funds for resources and environmental protection programs. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals related to these programs and recommend various changes.
December 19, 2012 - California currently maintains over a dozen major programs that are intended to support the development of energy efficiency and alternative energy in the state. Over the past 10 to 15 years, the state has spent a combined total of roughly $15 billion on such efforts. In response to the Supplemental Report of the 2012-13 Budget Package, this report provides an overview of these different programs, as well as a preliminary assessment of them in terms of priority, overlap, and redundancy. We find that the state currently lacks a comprehensive framework that fully coordinates the state's energy incentive programs to help ensure that the state’s goals are being achieved in the most cost-effective manner. The absence of such a comprehensive framework (1) results in some level of program duplication, (2) results in some departments making policy choices that may not be aligned to legislative priorities, and (3) makes it difficult to compare effectiveness across programs. As a result, we recommend that the Legislature develop a comprehensive strategy for meeting the state’s energy efficiency and alternative energy objectives. In general, the comprehensive strategy should specify: (1) the state’s energy efficiency and alternative energy goals, (2) how programs should fit together to achieve the state’s goals, and (3) how program effectiveness will be measured.
January 6, 2020 - In this report, we assess the effects of the state’s major policies intended to reduce emissions from the generation of electricity.
August 17, 2015 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce
February 21, 2020 - While wildfires have always been a natural part of California’s ecosystems, recent increases in the severity of wildfires and the adverse impacts on communities have increased the focus on the state’s ability to effectively prevent, mitigate, and respond to wildfire risks. This report has two parts. First, we assess the state’s approach to addressing wildfire risks in light of the complex challenges that make an efficient and effective approach difficult. Second, we evaluate the Governor’s various wildfire‑related budget proposals in the absence of having a statewide strategic wildfire plan.
June 21, 2019 - Recent catastrophic wildfires caused by utilities in California have caused tens of billions of dollars in property damage. Under current legal standards, these damages will directly lead to increased costs for utilities, which could be passed on to ratepayers. Moreover, the recognition of increased potential costs associated with wildfire risks has affected the credit markets, contributing to one investor owned utility (Pacific Gas and Electric) declaring bankruptcy, as well as credit downgrades for other utilities. These credit effects will make it more difficult and expensive for utilities to secure financing for capital investments, which will also increase costs for ratepayers, as well as potentially affect other policy goals. The goal of this report is to be a resource for policymakers and the public seeking to better understand the complicated issues surrounding utilities and the costs associated with wildfire risks.