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LAW 415G: Policy Practicum: CAISO Regionalization and California Climate Policy

California's electricity grid and market is operated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). In legislation passed last session, CAISO was authorized to evaluate an expansion of its territory to include out of state entities within its day-ahead and real-time markets. Berkshire Hathaway Energy, owner of PacificCorps and NV Energy, and Arizona Public Service have both expressed interest in joining an expanded CAISO organized wholesale electricity market provided that new governance arrangements can be agreed. Such a move would have major implications for California's climate policies in at least four ways. First and most importantly, integration of a larger footprint into the California electricity market will do much to facilitate least-cost addition of renewable resources to achieve California's 50% RPS target. Second, California has spent the last decade easing its utilities out of a dependence on out of state coal plants. This process might be derailed if these units were included within the CAISO footprint. Third, California's GHG cap-and-trade has a complex process for tracking imported coal-fired energy. This process might be far more difficult or even impossible were these units included in the CAISO footprint. Fourth, joint governance of the electricity market might push all parties toward regional collaboration on cap-and-trade, but this might dilute California's climate change efforts across states unwilling to make similar commitments. The goal of the policy lab will be to evaluate these and other implications of CAISO expansion and to articulate potential options for managing the interaction between it and California's ambitious climate policies. The client for the Policy Lab is Kevin de Leon, the Senate pro Tem of the California Legislature. Our goal will be to insure that de Leon, and other parties involved in the negotiation, fully understand the implications of the choices they make as this complex process unfolds. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Class Participation, Written Assignments. NOTE: Students may not count more than a combined total of eight units of directed research projects and policy lab practica toward graduation unless the additional counted units are approved in advance by the Petitions Committee. Such approval will be granted only for good cause shown. Even in the case of a successful petition for additional units, a student cannot receive a letter grade for more than eight units of independent research (Policy Lab practicum, Directed Research, Senior Thesis, and/or Research Track). Any units taken in excess of eight will be graded on a mandatory pass basis. For detailed information, see "Directed Research/Policy Labs" in the SLS Student Handbook. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructor. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
Instructors: ; Wara, M. (PI)
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