Why Does PG&E Get to Decide When to Turn Off the Power?

Will lawmakers de-energize PG&E’s power to shut off the juice when the Red Flag warnings start flying again next year?

Jerry Brown Signed $1 Billion in Wildfire Prevention—and None of It Applies to This Year’s Fires

Many provisions of Senate Bill 901 have not yet taken effect, and even when they do, will impact the state gradually.

North Bay, Santa Cruz Wildfires a Reminder that We’re Living in New Climate with New Dangers

The climate has changed and so have the risks associated with wildfires. This is the terrifying new normal.

Rebranded Bike Rental System Expands in Downtown San Jose

New bike rental stations have been cropping up around downtown San Jose as part of a massive regional expansion bankrolled by Ford.

San Jose Council Weighs Locally Controlled Clean Energy Plan

San Jose is exploring the idea of forming its own power agency to offer residents a higher mix of renewable energy at a slightly lower cost.

Councilman Kansen Chu Charges Expensive Yosemite Retreat to the City

All work and no play makes Kansen Chu a dull councilmember. Back in March, the representative for San Jose’s Berryessa district (and 2014 State Assembly candidate) took a trip with his wife—on the city’s dime—to Yosemite National Park to attend the 22nd Annual Ahwahnee Conference for Local Elected Officials. What initially caught Fly’s attention was the conference, titled “Building Livable Communities: New Strategies for a New Age,” was sponsored by a who’s who of who-cares-about-the-environment: PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison Company and the Southern California Gas Company. But a closer look at Councilman Chu’s expense report shows he barely attended the event, despite shelling out $809.54 of taxpayer dollars.

Rentseekers and The Free Market: Part II

I watched a piece on CNN the other day that really tied the room together, in terms of the battle over America’s energy future. Recently in this space, I’ve ranted about rentseekers—established industries backed by favorable regulations that stifle innovation and thrive by maintaining the status quo. This story rides a thru-line from social innovators, like Uber and Airbnb, to the heart of the solar energy revolution, and it exposes a dilemma at the core of our economy: The free market doesn’t really exist.

Key Voting Bloc Trending Toward Solar

A new survey recently commissioned by the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) and supported by Californians Against Utilities Stopping Solar Energy (CAUSE) reveals some striking trends in key voting demographics in California and nationwide.