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February 13, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Two years after the San Onofre nuclear plant was shuttered because of its problematic steam generators, state authorities are deciding how Southern California Edison ought to power the homes and businesses of its customers without the troubled plant, which generated 19% of the company's energy. Finding the right answer is especially important because, for all the dangers of nuclear power, it has the advantage of a low carbon footprint. Natural gas, the easiest replacement, is a fossil fuel that worsens global warming.
February 11, 2014 | By David Zucchino
RALEIGH, N.C. - State regulators in North Carolina have asked a judge to delay what environmentalists claim is a sweetheart deal with Duke Energy designed to protect the nation's largest electrical utility from heavy fines for allowing coal ash into the state's rivers. The move came a week after a massive spill dumped up to 82,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River from a Duke Energy containment basin at a shuttered coal-fired plant in Eden, N.C. Duke and state regulators have downplayed the severity of the spill.
February 7, 2014 | By Melinda Fulmer
The kettle bell overhead squat is a graceful way to build strength and flexibility at the same time. It's demonstrated here by David Schenk, co-founder of Cross Train LA in Hollywood. What it does The twisting, weight-assisted squat builds strength in your glutes, hamstrings and quads while increasing shoulder strength and stability. It also works on chest flexibility. What to do Start out standing with your feet more than shoulder-width apart, with the kettle bell pressed straight up to the ceiling in your right hand, elbow locked.
February 2, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Michael Picker, the newest member of the powerful Public Utilities Commission, has a long history with Gov. Jerry Brown: He worked in the governor's mail room during his first term from 1975 to 1977. "I delivered press releases," said Picker, 62, who moved to Sacramento from Echo Park a year after graduating from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles in 1974. Since then, Picker, has held a number of government jobs, most recently as an elected board member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and as senior adviser on renewable energy for Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
January 30, 2014 | By Jack Dolan
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday continued his effort to overhaul the leadership of the city's much-criticized municipal utility and curb the influence of its powerful employees union by nominating a new agency boss and dismissing a top-ranking executive.  Garcetti recommended Anaheim City Manager Marcie Edwards as the new general manager of the Department of Water and Power, which has been struggling to manage a series of controversies over...
January 12, 2014 | Julie Cart
Five years after the Obama administration's renewable energy initiative touched off a building boom of large-scale solar power plants across the desert Southwest, the pace of development has slowed to a crawl, with a number of companies going out of business and major projects canceled for lack of financing. Of the 365 federal solar applications since 2009, just 20 plants are on track to be built. Only three large-scale solar facilities have gone online, two in California and one in Nevada.
January 8, 2014 | By Jack Dolan
More than $40 million spent over the last decade to improve labor relations at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has, instead, sparked an increasingly tense standoff between a union boss and the city's most powerful elected officials. City Controller Ron Galperin announced Wednesday afternoon that he was issuing subpoenas to compel Brian D'Arcy, leader of the DWP's largest employee union, to show where the millions went. The rare legal maneuver came hours after D'Arcy failed to appear in Galperin's office to begin an audit of two DWP affiliated nonprofits D'Arcy co-manages - the Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute.
December 30, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
After coping with the June shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Clemente, the fallout from a fatal 2010 explosion of a natural gas pipeline in the Bay Area and a batch of consumer protection issues, the state's Public Utilities Commission faces more challenges in the year ahead. And on the spot will be PUC President Michael R. Peevey, 75, who has served as California's chief utility regulator under three governors. He will have been the longest-serving head of the agency by the time his term expires at the end of next year.
December 29, 2013 | By Matt Stevens
A recent study commissioned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission estimates that damage from the Rim fire to the natural environment and to property values could total about $250 million to $1.8 billion. The preliminary assessment released last month places dollar amounts on losses in "environmental benefits," carbon storage and the asset value of property near where the fire burned. Researchers from Earth Economics found losses in environmental benefits of $100 million to $736 million, in carbon storage of $102 million to $797 million, and in private property values of $49.7 million to $265 million.
December 27, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Utilities in several states and Canada on Friday continued to work on repairs, hoping to bring tens of thousands of customers back on line after an ice storm last weekend shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people. Michigan and Maine, the states hit the hardest, reported progress but utilities acknowledged that some outages, caused by power lines downed by crusted ice, continued. In Michigan where nearly 600,000 homes and businesses lost power, about 64,000 customers remained in the dark, according to the Associated Press.
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