California Current provides independent news and analysis on the power and gas markets in the nation's biggest economy. Our experienced journalists cover the state’s energy complexities. Policies and laws affecting utilities, generators, and ratepayers—from renewable energy and environmental policies to project permitting, rate development, the “smart” grid, safety, market structure, climate, and financial impacts—are our forté. Current spots the trends—from supply side to demand side. We monitor attempts to make the state’s “green” promise a reality, while assuring reliable energy services. Current guides readers through the maze of regulation at the state and federal level.
For the price of a subscription, you can virtually attend meetings and hearings, whether at the state Capitol, California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, or Air Resources Board. We also cover news outside the state that affects California’s energy industry, be it coal development, federal policies, or renewable subsidies. And we translate it all into plain English.
JUICE, Current’s editorial column, brings you insights into developing news. Our guest columns provide contrasting perspectives on important current energy events.
Current’s readers are in many facets of the energy industry: power developers, deliverers, politicians, regulators, lawyers, governments, and utilities. Current is in the energy journalism business—a distinction that we sometimes feel the need to make, and let our sophisticated readers in on why Current serves them and how we go about it.
First, it’s the California in Current’s name that is our raison d'être.
The Golden State is different. It is what makes us ever so interesting, envied and mocked.
California is a land of determined vision—with the entertainment industry, Silicon Valley, the Napa Valley. For many insiders, it’s risk-for-profit, it’s still environmentally charming, it’s a social experiment and often fun.
We at Current report and investigate the state’s unique energy world—viewing it through a journalistic lens shaped by the past and present contours and landscapes—be it electricity restructuring or rise of carbon constraints, renewables and energy efficiency. For us, the power industry is one big noisy family, with constant and shifting rivalries and alliances.
We have no stake financially in the success or failure of the fossil-fueled, renewable-fueled, transmission, or pipeline industries. As old-school journalists, we simply believe that given solid information, people will make the right choices.
Our old-school journalism reflects diligent research and decades of energy analyses. We present as many responsible views, and a positively skeptical examination of policy and practice.
With that, here’s a primer on energy journalism to help readers understand what we do, and why it is a help to you:
News events—Like most serious publications, we cover news events. For instance if a transmission line is christened, or burned up, Current will report it with more sophistication than daily newspapers. If a nuclear plant melts, we’ll report that too, only from a distance.
Enterprise reporting—In non-news events, Current’s staff sees trends. We investigate and pull together strands of occurrences into a rope of information.
Hearings & meetings—For readers’ basic need to be in several places at once, for hearings and meetings, Current’s staff is deployed to make your life easier. We give you the basics, and figure for details readers can follow up on the archived webcasts.
Analysis—Current’s staff, with decades of experience in energy, gives out facts, but also ties together analysis. We also invite readers to offer their own views through guest editorials, in order to gather more points of view.
Press releases v. reporting—Many of our readers publish press releases on their companies or agencies. The releases tip us to things we wouldn’t otherwise catch. But, Current digs beyond the press release to get a fuller picture.
Filters—To help readers with their own time constraints, Current attempts to filter events, both around the nation and world, into news that can be used here in California.
Tone—We don’t want to put our readers to sleep with dry prose, and we don’t want to be glib, either. Current attempts to create a readable publication every week that delivers accurate information in a digestible format.
In essence, Current is much like a mirror—a mirror that reveals both your beauty and blemishes at the same time. It’s an interesting dynamic that is ever-changing. We look forward to traveling reflecting what's important to the industry, environmentalists and consumers.
California Current Staff
J.A. Savage, co-editor, co-publisher, is an award-winning journalist with honors from the National Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Computer Press Association, and the Electronic Publishers Foundation. Savage served as a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, as well as correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, and Dow Jones.
Elizabeth McCarthy, co-editor, co-publisher has specialized in energy issues since the late 1990s. She was a staff reporter for the Bureau of National Affairs in Sacramento and was BNA’s Irish correspondent, covering myriad issuesfrom wave action to European Union directives. She has written extensively on water, heath care, and business for various organizations and publications, including the World Health Organization, Agence France Presse wire service, and Harvard University’s Nieman Reports. McCarthy is an attorney and switched to journalism after discovering that reporting on energy issues was more dynamic and enjoyable than briefing them. She focuses on making her coverage of complex policy and legal issues digestible, accurate, and entertaining.
William J. Kelly is Current’s staff correspondent. He has written on environmental and energy issues for more than 20 years
and was the winner of the Rose Foundation’s 2006 Meade Clean Air Prize for his articles on air pollution in LA Weekly in 2006.
Kelly is author, with Chip Jacobs, of the book "Smogtown," from Overlook Press in New York. His freelance articles have been
published in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, California Journal, LA Weekly, Orange County Weekly,
Scientific American, Alternet, and for Environment News Service.
Earlier in his career, Kelly covered national environmental issues in Washington, D.C., for the employee-owned publishing company BNA, Inc. He also has written and edited books on the environment, including "Home Safe Home" (National Press, Inc., 1989; republished by Avon Books, 1991) and several volumes published by BNA. After leaving Washington, he spent more than 13 years as press spokesperson and communications manager for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the smog control agency for greater Los Angeles. There he won the International Association of Business Communicators awards for best media communications program in 1997 and best annual report in 1995. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Mark Edward Nero is California Current’s South Coast correspondent. Nero, based in Long Beach, Calif., has been writing for
Current since 2005 and has been a professional journalist since 1995. He has worked for a series of Southern California daily newspapers,
including the San Diego Union-Tribune and Long Beach Press-Telegram. His writing also has appeared in the Boston Globe,
the Los Angeles Daily News, and other publications both in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to reporting for Current, Nero writes
about the music industry and the maritime shipping industry.