In the News


Steven Weissman in the news:



Could FERC put a price on carbon?

Steven Weissman quoted in Utility Dive, July 28, 2014

“It is not a huge step for FERC to take more direct climate change action,” Weismann says. “It is likely in time there will be a price on carbon. Including a carbon adder in wholesale electricity rates now would help ensure that electricity demand is met using the generating resources with the lowest environmental cost and help guide utilities in directions that would not leave them vulnerable to sudden cost increases later.”


Your rooftop solar questions answered

Steven Weissman interviewed by KALW City Visions, May 12, 2014

“There was a study done by Congress in 1980 saying that in order for solar to cut through, there was going to have to be a reduction from the current price, which at that point was about ten dollars per installed watt down to one dollar per installed watt, and they predicted that would happen in 1988. Well we didn’t get there, then, but there’s been a dramatic shift in the last handful of years, and now solar is very much within that range.”


Climate change threatens energy infrastructure

Steven Weissman quoted in Climate Central, March 10, 2014

The GAO report does not question scientific findings on global warming, and it shows that many energy companies recognize the risk they face from climate change, said Steven Weissman….“This nonpartisan report should shift the burden of proof for any firms or agencies that are dragging their feet,” Weissman said, adding that the report could focus the attention of the public and policymakers on the need to strengthen all public infrastructure to better stand up to climate change.

 


San Bruno officials suspect PUC judge under pressure to go easy on PG&E

Steven Weissman quoted in San Jose Mercury News, December 2, 2013

Steven Weissman, director of the energy program at UC Berkeley Law School and a former PUC administrative law judge, said it would be acceptable for the executive director and the administrative law judges to discuss “procedural and staffing issues,” but added that “it would be typical for the executive director to discuss these things with the chief ALJ (administrative law judge) rather than going directly to the judge on the case.”


Complex networks make up US power grid

Steven Weissman interviewed by National Public Radio, August 14, 2013

“From one perspective, there should be zero tolerance for the kind of outage that’s going to create physical and economic inconvenience for people. On the other hand, one major inconvenient episode every 38 or 40 years may not be all that bad. So the question is: how much do you want to spend? What do you want to sacrifice in order to get to a higher level of reliability?”


Court decisions could mean $1.5B in refunds from Calif. power crisis

Steven Weissman quoted in Greenwire, April 5, 2013

“There’s a history of the cases not leading to anywhere near the full amount of the deal showing up in cash,” said Steven Weissman.… One example of a cash-free settlement would be to adjust charges for BPA or WAPA electricity in the future, he said.


Calif. reaches out to neighbors in push for green power

Ethan Elkind and Steven Weissman quoted in Environment and Energy Publishing, January 18, 2013

Green electricity isn’t available if clouds are out or the wind is not blowing…. “It helps to balance it out if you have a lot of different resources to compensate,” Elkind said. “At some point, the state’s going to have to go in that direction, where we start to bring in renewable resources from all across the Western region.”

“The extent to which you expand the ISO’s control area, you’re also expanding the ability to have a first point of interconnection between renewable energy projects and the ISO’s grid,” Weissman said.


Gov. Brown appointees face test as CPUC tackles nuclear, pipeline safety

Steven Weissman quoted in Environment & Energy Publishing, January 7, 2013

“I’ve noticed that Peevey and [former Commissioner Timothy] Simon tended to vote as a bloc almost all of the time, and the question was who they could get to go along with them,” said Steven Weissman, a former administrative law judge at the CPUC who now serves as associate director of the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment. “I think the voting blocs are not necessarily something that makes for the best policy.”


New study recommends mass adoption of electric vehicles

Ethan Elkind and Steven Weissman quoted in The Daily Californian, September 9, 2012

“Electric vehicles are important to our environmental concerns, public health, quality of life and national security,” said Ethan Elkind…. “They are important to the economy because you would have a domestic source of fuel instead of having to import foreign oil.”

The magnitude of environmental benefits is not the same in all states because it depends on which energy source is used to generate electricity. In states like West Virginia, electricity is produced by coal as opposed to cleaner energies used in California, said Weissman.


Recovering the waterfront is important because people want to live here

Steven Weissman interviewed by Diari Mes (page 8), July 2, 2012

“I think to advance, it is necessary to combine strong political leadership with a concern for urban design and a participatory democratic process that will generate enough public support. Leaders must be able to describe the future they want for their city, and citizens must create this vision and support it so it functions.”


University report takes stab at Brown’s lofty renewables goal

Jeffrey Russell and Steven Weissman report cited in Greentech Media, June 11, 2012

The Governor’s office asked CLEE’s Weissman and Jeffrey Russell to expand on the UCLA conference stakeholder input with further research and analysis and build a comprehensive outline of how to overcome the many remaining planning, permitting, financing, construction and interconnection barriers slowing California’s DG.

“There is going to have to be a lot done on the utility level,” Weissman said. “The utilities … tend to look at their resource needs on a service territory-wide basis. But in order to make distributed generation a significant factor and a positive contribution to the grid, there is going to have to be a renewed emphasis on local resource planning.”
This story appeared in a number of sources including ClimateWire, San Francisco Business Times, Daily Democrat, and KQED News.


State caught in middle of electric car station dispute

Steven Weissman quoted in Daily Journal, May 29, 2012 (registration required)

Ecototality may have its work cut out for it in the lawsuit, said Steven Weissman. “The courts have over time given tremendous deference to the PUC about the way it resolves cases that involve ratepayer funds.”


Marin residents facing July deadline to pick power provider

Steven Weissman interviewed by KCBS-TV, ConsumerWatch, May 29, 2012

“It’s a dramatic increase in the amount of renewable power being provided to customers,” said Steven Weissman. He said nothing’s for sure in the energy markets, but believes over time, Marin Clean Energy’s rates should be comparable to P.G. and E’s. “I don’t think you’re going to have a significantly different bill,” Weissman told ConsumerWatch.


Has blazing a trail in solar energy cost California too much?

Steven Weissman report cited in Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2012

More than bragging rights are at stake: California’s solar industry has created 26,000 jobs, or 1 in 4 solar jobs nationwide, according to a recent study by the UC Berkeley law school.


Net metering battle heats up as utilities fear “silent subsidy”

Steven Weissman quoted in PV-Tech, April 10, 2012

“Overall incentives are being reduced,” said Weissman. “I think about a patient in intensive care with tubes, wires, everything is hooked up and the doctor comes in and says I think the patient is doing better, let’s yank them all out! That’s not what they’re going to do, they’re going to pull one plug, ramp down one medicine and see what the impacts are.”


Steven Weissman Downplays Solyndra Collapse

Corporate Counsel, September 21, 2011 by Catherine Dunn
http://bit.ly/rgrKFe

With regards to the singular, if high-profile, failing of Solyndra, Weissman says: “It’s a vast oversimplification to point to [the failure] of one company and draw any meaningful conclusions.” The purpose of the federal loan-guarantee program is to shift risk in uncharted waters from the private sector to the taxpayer, and “whenever there’s risk, that means some things are going to succeed and some things are going to fail,” he adds.


Steven Weissman Notes State’s Pivotal Role in AT&T Merger With T-Mobile

POLITICO Pro, August 16, 2011 by Michelle Quinn
https://www.politicopro.com/ (registration required; go to H:\Law School in the News\In the News 2011\News Clips for article)

“California can refuse to approve the deal unless certain conditions are met,” Weissman said. “This would force AT&T and T-Mobile to alter the agreement in order to move ahead. Even though California’s authority doesn’t reach beyond its borders, the companies can’t merge one way in California, and another way everywhere else. In effect, a roadblock in California stops traffic on a national level.”


Steven Weissman Gives Bryson Thumbs Up as Former Edison CEO

Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2011 by Jim Puzzanghera
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/16/business/la-fi-bryson-profile-20110716/2

“The fact that the company was in financial trouble during the crisis is really not so much a reflection of … the way it was managed,” Weissman said. “It was an indictment of the underlying premise for deregulation as it was designed in California.”


Steven Weissman, Daniel Farber Discuss Bryson’s Policies During CA Power Crisis

The New York Times, June 15, 2011 by Colin Sullivan
http://nyti.ms/mr4jsm

Bryson did manage to separate himself from other corporate executives by dealing directly with Davis. This made Edison “the quieter of the three major California utilities” during the crisis, Weissman said, as Bryson was working behind the scenes to pay off its debt, avoid bankruptcy and generally keep “a lower profile in terms of affiliate transactions in California power markets.”

And some tried to turn the table on Republicans when the question was raised about Bryson’s support for renewables and BrightSource specifically. “Given that the Republicans won’t vote to repeal subsidies to the oil industry, I don’t see how they can complain about subsidies for clean tech,” said Daniel Farber.


Steven Weissman Questions Bill to Require Energy Bids

Contra Costa Times, January 19, 2011 by Matt Krupnick
http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_17139605?nclick_check=1

Public officials should be responsible when spending tax dollars, he said, regardless of bidding requirements.
It really starts as a matter of local governance,” he said. Public agencies “are responsible to the voters.”