Follow our energy experts in the media.

Cap and Trade-Offs

October 19, 2020
Grist

Meredith Fowlie, Faculty Director of the Energy Institute, is quoted in Grist regarding environmental justice concerns that will be affected by November’s election. “Did California’s landmark legislation help or hurt the state’s most vulnerable?”

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California Blackouts Caused Largely by Poor Planning, Preliminary Report Finds

October 9, 2020
KTVU

Severin Borenstein, Faculty Director of the Energy Institute, talks to KTVU about the recent blackouts findings. As a result of the electricity shut down by the California Independent System Operator, it was discovered that some generators sent power out of the state and apparently this is not unusual.

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Gas Prices During the Obama-Biden Administration Were $5.49 a Gallon.

September 30, 2020
PolitiFact

Severin Borenstein, Faculty Director of the Energy Institute, spoke with PolitiFact on the fluctuation in gas prices during the recent presidency terms. Severin clarifies that presidents don’t have that much influence over gas, as opposed to what recent social media images seem to indicate on high gas costs during the Obama administration.

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Sell Me Your Climate Bombs

September 25, 2020
NPR

A type of greenhouse gas known as R12 refrigerant, is being banned due to its lethal effects on the atmosphere. The NPR Planet Money Podcast talks with Meredith Fowlie, Energy Institute Faculty Director, on the growing market of carbon offset credit.

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Pros and Cons of Gas Power Plants

September 23, 2020
KCRW

Severin Borenstein, Energy Institute Faculty Director, discusses with KCRW whether or not the state is making a good decision on keeping some gas power plants open in order to maintain California’s power grid.

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UC Climate Experts Warn California Wildfires, Extreme Weather Events Will Get Worse

September 10, 2020
KPIX

Energy Institute Faculty Affiliate, Maximilian Auffhammer, talks to KPIX about the intense heat and fires that have taken over California. Auffhammer and other experts, have predicted climate change for decades and warn us about this ‘new normal’.

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Heat Wave Strain on State’s Power Grid and PG&E’s Warning

September 10, 2020
KPIX

With the high temperatures and fires, KQED seeks the expertise of Severin Borenstein, Energy Institute Faculty Director. In their recent interview, they examine how power lines affect public safety power shutoffs, as well as energy shortages caused by rolling blackouts.

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Rolling Blackouts: What Oaklanders Need to Know, and What to Expect

August 21, 2020
The Oaklandside and Berkeleyside

Recent power shutoffs mandated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) took the Bay Area by surprise. The Oaklandside taps into Energy Institute experts, Lucas Davis and Andrew Campbell to learn more about these efforts to help stabilize the power grid.

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Equity and Electricity: Race Gap in Household Energy Use, with Eva Lyubich

August 18, 2020
Resources for the Future Podcast and Texas Public Radio

On a recent Resources for the Future Podcast, Energy Institute Graduate Student Researcher, Eva Lyubich discusses her working paper on energy efficiency disparities in black households. Eva stresses the importance of understanding these inequities in order to help bridge the gap.

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Who Turned Off the Lights? Heat Puts the Squeeze on California's Power Grid

August 18, 2020
NBC Los Angeles, The Fresno Bee, and More

Severin Borenstein, Faculty Director of the Energy Institute, shares with NBC Los Angeles his proposed solution to avoid a power grid overload during the heat wave.

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Wild Bay Area Weather Expected to Continue Overnight Sunday With Lightning, Gusty Winds and Fires

August 15, 2020
The San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that extreme weather could continue to threaten electricity demands. Energy Institute Faculty Director, Severin Borenstein, explains the reason for increased electricity demands and what lies ahead.

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U.S. Nears ‘Energy Independence’ Trump Promised During 2016 Campaign

July 15, 2020
PolitiFact

PolitiFact examines President Trump’s promise in 2016 that the U.S. will become “energy independent”. Severin Borenstein, Energy Institute Faculty Director, discusses what energy independence would look like, and it isn’t the production of more energy as one would assume.

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California’s Gas Tax Is Going Up Again. You Should Be Pleased.

June 25, 2020
Los Angeles Times

Severin Borenstein, Energy Institute Faculty Director, discusses gas tax increases with the Los Angeles Times; sharing that prior to COVID-19, the average gas use in California would normally amount to one gallon a day.

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Soot Rule Thrusts EPA Into Spotlight on Race

June 12, 2020
E&E News

E&E News discusses Energy Institute Faculty Affiliate, Reed Walker’s paper on particulate matter exposure disparities across the country. Walker’s research is highlighted in response to EPA’s proposal for regulating costs & benefits of climate and air pollution, which in turn could affect minority communities.

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Shrinking Fossil Fuel Demand Could Hit California's Cap-And-Trade Auction

May 18, 2020
Utility Dive

Amid stay-at-home policies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, California has seen a reduced demand for fossil fuels. Energy Institute Faculty Director, Severin Borenstein, estimates that this weak demand may pose a risk to the next cap-and-trade auction.

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trade barriers

How Global Trade Pacts Award ‘Subsidies’ for Climate Pollution

May 4, 2020
Bloomberg, Axios, and More

A new working paper by Joseph Shapiro, Energy Institute Faculty Affiliate, finds that several countries have unequal rates for dirty versus clean carbon industries, Bloomberg reports.

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Oil Prices Fall Into Negative Territory

April 21, 2020
KTVU, The San Diego Union Tribune, and More

The oil industry experiences a major setback this week as demand remains low and prices decline. KTVU interviews Energy Institute Faculty Director Severin Borenstein, to discuss how this may impact companies and the economy.

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woman at the computer

Will Your Electricity Bill Go Up If You’re Working From Home?

March 26, 2020
Quartz 

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, many employees are working from home. Energy Institute Faculty Director, Severin Borenstein, estimates how much higher bills might be.

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PG&E Inks Deal With Governor, Opening Path Out of Bankruptcy

March 23, 2020
Energywire

Governor Newsom reached a deal with PG&E on its reorganization, which could include a state takeover if the utility does not emerge from bankruptcy on schedule. Energywire spoke with Andrew Campbell, Energy Institute Executive Director, about the significance of the agreement.

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Hotels Seek $150 Billion in Aid as Travel Plummets - March 2020

March 17, 2020
The Wall Street Journal

Travel industry is seeking a government bailout during the coronavirus crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports. Energy Institute Faculty Director, Severin Borenstein, believes that bailout funds would unfortunately go to the industry shareholders rather than its workers.

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Coronavirus Effect: California Gas Prices to Drop Amid Turmoil

March 10, 2020
The San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle investigates how Coronavirus is affecting the drop in gas prices. While consumers may be happy about this decrease, Severin Borenstein, Faculty Director of the Energy Institute, says this may not stay this way for very long.

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Fossil Fuel Use Bumps Up GHG Emissions for First Time in 13 Years

February 24, 2020
S&P Global Platts

S&P Global Platts discusses Meredith Fowlie‘s blog post from the Energy Institute Blog in which she evaluates the increase in CO2 emissions over the past few years.

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California Could Take Over PG&E Under A Proposed Bill. But Could The Plan Work?

February 6, 2020
Capital Public Radio

As Pacific Gas & Electric submits a Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, Capital Public Radio outlines the potential for California to take control of PG&E. Faculty Director Severin Borenstein questions whether PG&E can get out of bankruptcy and describes the possibilities if the state intervenes.

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biblis nuclear power station

As The Costs Of Germany’s Nuclear Phase Out Mount, Little Appetite For A Rethink

January 11, 2020
Forbes, Financial Times, and More

Forbes references a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) about the after-math of nuclear power plant shut-downs in Germany. Co-author and Graduate Student Researcher Stephen Jarvis, brings awareness specifically to air pollution and describes how damaging it can be.

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Solar Panels Will Soon Be Required For Newly Constructed Homes In California

December 16, 2019
KPIX

KPIX reports that starting January 1st, 2020, all newly built homes in California will require solar rooftop panels. Faculty Director Severin Borenstein expresses some concerns, but says that if we want people to be invested this has to remain affordable.

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Power for the People: How Should Governments Develop Electric Grids?

November 21, 2019
The Oxford Policy Management Blog

Graduate Researcher Susanna Berkouwer examines her work with the Economic Development & Institutions on governments optimizing electricity programs. In the Oxford Policy Management Blog, she says that over a billion people currently live without access to electricity in their homes – specifically in rural areas of Africa.

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tower-satellite

Gov. Newsom Floated The Idea Of A State Takeover Of PG&E. How Would That Look And How Would It Impact Customers?

November 5, 2019
KPCC

Governor Newsom considers a state takeover if PG&E is unable to manage its utility operations. Severin Borenstein says on KPCC that this is an area that should certainly be explored, as the state steps in when it comes to other natural disasters but this has not been the case thus far when it comes to electricity.

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Millions Are Out of Power in California, But Were the PG&E Shutoffs Necessary?

October 16, 2019
PBS, San Francisco Chronicle, and More

Severin Borenstein, Faculty Director of the Energy Institute describes the difference between transmission lines and local distribution lines, and how PG&E had mostly conducted shutoffs in rural areas as opposed to urban areas up to recently. Borenstein tells PBS that PG&E should have had a better communication plan in place.

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Should the State Take Control of Wildfire Blackouts?

October 23, 2019
PoliticoPro

Following the recent wildfires and PG&E shutdowns, industry experts believe that the state should begin managing grids. Andrew Campbell, Executive Director of the Energy Institute tells PoliticoPro that the government might not only keep the customer in mind first, but that they would have greater insight on the best timing for the shutdowns.

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Should Electric Vehicle Drivers Pay Per Mile?

July 24, 2019
CityLab and Pacific Standard

Government coffers are taking a hit as drivers switch to electric vehicles and avoid paying gasoline taxes. CityLab features a recent working paper that looks at this issue by Faculty Lucas Davis and James Sallee. The researchers ask whether or not electric vehicle drivers should pay a mileage tax instead. Davis and Sallee explain how this may not be so simple after all.

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Californians Want Answers on High Gas Prices

July 27, 2019
KQED, Los Angeles Times, and More

Californians are paying $20 million per day in higher fuel costs due to a “mystery gasoline surcharge”, according to Energy Institute Faculty Director Severin Borenstein. KQED, the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, AP News, NBC Bay Area, Fox Business, KSRO, and Trucker discuss the surcharge and potential causes with Borenstein, and report on how California Governor Gavin Newsom and the legislature have responded to Borenstein’s analysis by calling for an investigation.

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America's Light Bulb Revolution

March 8, 2019
New York Times, The Bulletin, and More

Faculty Director Lucas Davis is quoted in the New York Times discussing the shift in light bulb usage by households. Consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of switching to LEDs, and Davis analyzes the significant savings that come with this.

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Electricity Does Not Change Poor Lives as Much as We Thought

February 12, 2019
The Economist

The Economist references a study that Faculty Affiliate Catherine Wolfram did on electrifying rural Kenya. Wolfram addresses the importance of aiding households by providing them connection to electricity grids for free or at various discounts, but questions whether its results are impactful enough to solve the long-term problem.

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