(Last update – Sept. 5, 2021)
We are very close to the end of the very disappointing 2021 legislative season. We had helped identify which bills will do the most for clean energy with the 350 Bay Area Action Legislative Team. There were many bills this year that had the potential to make a difference in the Clean Energy area for CA but leadership, which takes far to much money from fossil fuel interests, killed many of them. Others became 2 year bills so will be back next year as authors realized leadership was not letting them through, or a couple were amended to be so much less than they started out to be. Last year’s session was a dramatically scaled down version with much of the concern having been on the budget for the state, due to lack of tax revenue from COVID. Only a few bills that legislators started last year with were even allowed to go forward. “Clean Energy”, per se, was not focused in 2020, or, for that matter, climate related bills in general. This year there seemed to be a lot more bills and more awareness of how far behind we got over the last 4 years as well as the potential for change under the Biden administration. 350 Bay Area Action is currently chose 6 bills in the “clean energy” area (which includes building decarbonization this year) to endorse and support in the last half of this legislative session.
350 Bay Area Action’s Legislative Team with our assistance , is supporting these bills as they stand today :
SB 99 (Dodd) Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021 which Implements a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans which microgrids. This bill was not allowed to go forward last week and died. AB 525 (Chiu) Energy: Offshore Wind Generation which would start planning for 10 GW of offshore wind by 2040, interim goal of 3 GW by 2030, plan by 2022, is still alive and may pass. SB 612 (Portantino) Electrical corporations and other load-serving entities: allocation of legacy resources. Has to do with PCIA and valuing those resources. Much in the bill came out in a long-delayed PD in PCIA rulemaking in April after the bill was written but it still has some additional helps and encourages CCA’s getting some help from these resources. It was not allowed to go forward in Holden’s Assembly Utility and Energy Committee SB 68 (Becker) Building electrification and electric vehicle charging. Requires CEC to publish guidance and best practices for builders, owners and local govts’ to more easily overcome barriers to bldg. electrification and installation of EV charging equip – EPIC money should be used for bldg electrification. This bill was weakened but did pass. SB 423 (Stern) Energy: renewable and zero carbon resources. Pushes CEC, CARB, CPUC and CAISO to priortize emerging renewable technologies etc. into resource planning so that we get a resilient and reliable grid going forward.and integrate variable renewable energy resources. Weakened a lot and in the last week, unions opposed and it is unclear it will get the votes needed to pass. SB 533 (Stern) Electrical Corporations: wildfire mitigation: deenergization events: microgrids, initially pushed the concept of more collaboration of IOU’s with CCA’s (among others) in a cooperative way to build microgrids, especially in areas where there is potential for fires initially. It was amended to take “microgrids” out of the title and any reference to them or modernizing the grid. Now just a pushing for a report from IOU’s on what they need to do to about circuits that seem frequently to be deenergized in PSPS events. We no longer actively supported the bill. It may still pass in its dramatically scaled down version.
There is one more that 350 Bay Area Action Opposed when is was going through the Assembly: AB 1139: (Gonzalzes, Quirk, and Carillo) Net Energy Metering. The utility written bill was amended to just focus on the worst part of it, from our point of view. It would have completely undermined roof-top solar in California, even undermining the CPUC’s process of coming to a decision about what to do about it in their current rulemaking, by requiring a monthly fee and requiring both current and future adopters to fall under that requirement while also decreasing dramatically any reimbursement for adopters get for providing energy to the grid. We worked hard with a large coalition of groups to stop the bill from moving forward. It was defeated soundly, only getting 26 votes of the needed 41 to move to the Senate. It may be back in some form this year (unlikely) but has been made into a 2 year bill so could show up next year.
There were others that we watched closely and we to tried to find a place for legislature approved language relating to asking the CPUC to coordinate what changes there needs to be in Transmission Access Charge reform which you can learn more about on Clean Coalition’s site HERE. It looks like we will have to wait until next year on this.
See 350 Bay Area Action for more information on all bills that 350 BAA has taken a stand on.
In the state legislature in 2019, there were a few bills that this campaign had been watching closely and taking positions on that were important for the future of Clean Energy in the state and locally. They were mostly bills that affect Community Choice Energy and had gone through a process of being amended and required close monitoring. Our campaign’s discussion of bills occurred mostly in regular meetings of 350 Bay Area Action’s Legislative Committee. Supporting legislation to raise the threshold for how much electricity in California must come from renewable sources and stopping legislation that tries to hamper Community Choice Energy, a very effective way to increase the pace of development of local, renewable energy, are high priorities of this campaign and complements our work on similar issues in rule-makings at the CPUC.
In 2018, of course, there was SB 100 (sets a goal for the state of reaching 100% clean energy for electricity by 2045) which was former President Pro Tem Senator Kevin De Leon’s bill from 2017. In late August of 2018, it passed the Assembly, barely, right at the end of the legislative session, which was all it needed to do at that point after having passed the Senate in 2017. And then just before the Global Climate Action Summit, Governor Brown signed it into law, making Hawaii and California the only two states with that goal signed into law. This bill was a high priority of the Legislative Team and many in 350 Bay Area Action worked hard on this. It was a focus of the Clean Energy/Clean Air Campaign of 350 Bay Area to educate people about it, but also of everyone in 350 Bay Area Action working on legislation. And there were so many other organizations also working on it. Here is the website where you can still see by clicking on “supporters” at the top and scrolling down, all the groups that were pushing for SB100 to pass: https://ca100.org/ .
Please consider getting involved with us this year. If interested, send an email to Ken Jones at Ken@350BayArea.org