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California's Renewables

The rate at which California builds new sources of renewable energy has slowed dramatically over the last few years. In 2013, we were adding over 3,000 MW a year; in 2017, we only added 546 MW. The reason for this slowdown is that conventional utilities (like PG&E) have been losing customers to Community Choice Aggregators (like MCE). The conventional utilities don't want to add capacity because it's expensive and their revenues are down. The CCAs have a hard time adding capacity because they're still small and young.

Federal election campaign: Day 30 and 31

Day 30 and 31 of the Federal election campaign, and without a doubt the biggest possible news item was Labor's costings which project the largest budget surplus in history, and double the size of the Coalition's. Note that these values are verified by the Parliamentary Budget Office, an indepedent statutory office, which uses the same numbers and models as the Treasury and are required to do so. I guess it helps a *lot* when you're not giving $77bn in tax-cuts to those earning $180K or more per annum.

Federal election campaign: Day 28 and 29

Day 28 and 29 and Liberal candidate Gurpal Singh, who previously made headlines for his past attempts to link marriage equality with pedophilia (a little awkward in the context with John Howard offering support to Dutton and Abbott, after his support of Pell, who would want that?). "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept," Mr Morrison said while attacking then-Labor candidate for Melbourne Luke Creasey - but apparently this didn't apply to one of his own. So Labor is making a point of this by advertising Gurpal's views on Grindr...

Concord Communities Alliance and Hall Equities

Concord Communities Alliance had a very interesting discussion today with a representative from Hall Equities about the stadium they want to build in downtown Concord. This project hasn't gotten a lot of love from the community, but she did make some good points:

Federal election campaign: Day 26 and 27

Day 26 and 27 of the Federal election campaign, and OMFG did you see Bill Shorten on Q&A?! Scott Morrison has told Q&A that he won't be making himself available to the tough questions (and they were tough), but Shorten answered the questions deftly and sincerely. It was, quite frankly, his best performance (he also committed to a review of Newstart payments - and not with a view of reducing them).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhJCumGOnSk

Candidacy Announced

I've decided to run for Party Policy Director of the Environmental Caucus. Party Policy Director is a new position that will be responsible for identifying resolutions and platform issues and bringing them to the attention of the caucus. If elected, I'll use my research skills and technical knowledge to provide caucus members with background information on the issues at hand. I won't tell anyone what to think, but I will ensure that people have access to the information they need.

Labor and LNP GDP comparisons

Since John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996, the Liberal Party and the majority of the Australian media have perpetuated the myth that the Liberals are better economic managers than the Labor Party. This as been the bedrock of every Liberal election campaign since.

Federal election campaign: Day 24 and 25

Day 24 and 25 of the Federal election campaign, and the big news items are the second leader's debate and a number of policy announcements coming from Labor's official campaign launch. Again our independent and publically-owned ABC (which the IPA finds troubling) provides a fact-check on the debate, which, on sheer volume of dubious claims made, don't look good for the Prime Minister. Looking even less good was Scott Morrison gesticulating wildly towards Bill Shorten, with the latter describing him a "space invader".

Jay Inslee on Climate Change

As expected, Jay Inslee rockets into first place on the climate change front. Beto's plan is pretty good when it comes to funding, but is pretty vague on everything else. Where Beto relies on a single federal mandate for net zero emissions by 2050, Inslee has three separate mandates for 100% carbon neutral electricity, 100% EV sales, and 100% zero-emissions for new buildings, all by 2030, along with a broader goal of being completely carbon-neutral by 2045. This is much more enforceable than Beto's proposal.

Federal election campaign: Day 22 and 23

Day 22 and 23 of the Federal election campaign, and the major policy announcement of the day has been $2 billion dollars of Federal funding for the Victoria's Melbourne Metro Tunnel. The project costs $11 bn overall and the Andrews government has been trying to get the Feds to cough up money previously allocated to infrastructure, but they want it to be spent on projects of their choosing (like the East-West Link).

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