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PG&E

Peter Merholz, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2767657

Pacific Gas and Electric, the primary utility provider in the Central Valley, filed for bankruptcy last month leaving questions about what this means for California’s renewable energy industry. Many renewable energy companies contract with PG&E, but as the company’s assets are examined, those contracts could be changed. This could also affect the state’s ability to rely on 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

On this week’s Valley Edition: We look at how pesticides may be contributing to honey bee deaths, and what that means for the $3 billion dollar almond industry. We also look at how the bankruptcy filing from utility provider PG&E could derail the state’s renewable energy goals.

Later, we take some time to explore the arts and culture scene by visiting an art gallery in Bakersfield and talking to a Fresno writer with a new collection of poems.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The state of California on Thursday greenlighted a suite of energy projects to serve the San Joaquin Valley, for a total investment of over $56 million.

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved almost a dozen pilot projects to improve energy infrastructure in 11 disadvantaged communities across the Valley.

AT&T/Ezra David Romero

On a hill overlooking Millerton Lake in Fresno County a group of workers are gathering around a cell tower. They’re watching a tiny white drone slowly circle the tower from the ground all the way to the top. Quasie Jones is with the drone imaging company Skycatch.

“So what it’s doing is taking a picture every two seconds,” Jones says. “So by the end of it it’ll basically have probably like five or 600 photos. So then our technology renders that and creates a 3D model.”

Courtesy of Brett Lebin

The start of the month marks the first time that cannabis growers in the state can receive agricultural energy rates from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  FM89’s Ezra David Romero explains.

KGOV / KGOV

California lawmakers gathered in Bakersfield today for a State Senate hearing on how to prevent pipeline “dig-in”accidents like the one in Kern County that killed an Earlimart man last month. FM89’s Joe Moore reports.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

UPDATE: Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims has confirmed that two Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies were also injured, and has revised the injury total to 11 people.

ORIGINAL POST:

A natural gas explosion at the peace officers gun range in Fresno has left 14 injured, three critically. FM89's Joe Moore reports. 

A gas pipeline at the range ignited at around 2:30 PM this afternoon, shooting a massive wall of flames into the sky and shutting down traffic on Highway 99 near Herndon Avenue. 

Electric Bill Increase or Fairer California Power Rates?

Aug 29, 2013
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Legislation that could add a flat fee of up to 10 dollars a month on some California electric bills is up for a key committee vote Friday.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the measure has support from utilities and consumer groups – but it’s sparking pushback from environmental advocates.

YouTube user Doug Winston / http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkMxEZUAoS8

State officials have launched an investigation into a demolition accident at a former PG&E power plant in Bakersfield which injured several bystanders on Saturday.

The planned implosion of a former PG&E power plant injured several early Saturday morning in Bakersfield.

Hundreds of California first responders and utility crews are on the East Coast helping in the recovery efforts after Superstorm Sandy. 

More than four million people on the east coast are still without power. But utility crews from PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric are helping in the restoration efforts. Tim Bedford is Incident Commander with PG&E. He and 162 workers are helping restore power in Flushing New York. Bedford says it may take longer than the original two weeks they anticipated.