California Political Review
July 21, 2015 By Stephen Frank
If the Democrat bill, SB 350 passes, energy utilities will no longer be allowed to make management decisions. This is from the bill, “This bill would revise the definition of “interests” of the ratepayers. The bill would require the PUC, in consultation with specified entities, to direct electric corporations to propose multiyear programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification as a means to achieve certain goals.”
Who decides the “specified entities” to control the investments and management of utilities? Sierra Club, Tom Steyer, Al Gore? The confused Guv Brown, government will totally run these companies. In an economics textbook this is called socialism, the government control of the means of production.
Once passed, SB 350 will also control profits, where energy plants are to be built, government will control prices—and use tax dollars to subsidize money losing energy sources—consumers already pay 2-3 TIMES the cost of clean coal energy by being forced to buy “alternative” energy. Will the public speak up to prevent the final pill being taken in the suicide of California?
SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 350 passed the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee on a 9-5 vote Monday. The bill now moves on to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. SB 350 establishes ambitious new targets for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and petroleum use reduction to strengthen California’s leadership in tackling climate change and air pollution while building the renewable energy economy of the future.
“We cannot afford to keep the status quo.” Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De León said. “We need to break the stranglehold the profit-driven oil companies have on our economy and give consumers better options to power their homes and cars in cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable ways,” De León added.
During the hearing, the Pro Tem praised the Assembly’s role in shaping California’s landmark climate policies, including the Global Warming Solutions Act and the California Clean Car Standards, which have helped reduce emissions and spur economic innovation. “Thanks to the leadership of this Chamber, and bipartisan collaboration, we have added clean energy technology to our mantle of economic leadership – right up there with entertainment, biotech, information tech, and agriculture,” Senator De León said.
Senator De León also warned of the dire costs of inaction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Failing to act aggressively and with intention leaves Californians exposed to the dangerous and costly impacts of climate change and air pollution.
According to the American Lung Association, California is home to the five most polluted cities in the nation (link is external) for ozone and particulate matter, which come primarily from vehicle tailpipe emissions.
8 in 10 Californians live in areas with unhealthy air.
Twice as many Californians die early deaths from the health impacts of vehicular pollution than from motor vehicle accidents (link is external) every year.
A 2008 study by CSU Fullerton researchers found that air pollution costs Californians $28 billion in added healthcare costs and lost income each year (link is external). Residents of the San Joaquin Valley suffered the most, losing roughly $1600 per person per year.
SB 350 establishes reasonable and achievable goals that will protect our health and make energy consumption more sustainable for our families and businesses. SB 350: 50 percent reduction in petroleum use; 50 percent utility power coming from renewable energy; 50 percent increase in energy efficiency in existing buildings.
In a recent article in the Sacramento Bee, Senator De León laid out the steps to achieve 50% reduction in petroleum use that will tap into California’s innovative spirit and make our state less dependent on foreign oil. “We will do so with cleaner fuels, more efficient cars and trucks, and reductions in traffic,” De León wrote. (Read more: California can reach petroleum reduction goal (link is external)) The Air Resources Board also has a fact sheet (link is external) that lays out specific ways to achieve 50% reduction in overall petroleum use by the year 2030.
California is already well on its way to having 33 percent of electricity come from renewable resources by 2020. SB 350 pushes the marker to 50 percent by 2030 to increase the benefits families experience when their electricity is more sustainable and cheaper. The California Energy Commission issued a fact sheet (link is external) laying out how half the state’s electricity can come from renewable energy by 2030. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York recently challenged California by also announcing the goal 50 percent generation from renewable resources in New York by the same deadline. This spring, Hawaii passed a law to have 100 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy. And just last week, President Obama announced a deal with Brazil to reach 20 percent renewable energy by 2030. California has to keep leading to make sure the clean-energy jobs and investments keep growing here.
Increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings by 50 percent by 2030 is a reality the U.S. Green Building Council in California says we can achieve (Read details here (link is external)). The Air Resources Board also has a fact sheet (link is external) that lays out the energy savings California is already experiencing and how the state can achieve more reduction in energy costs.
SB 350 lays out specific accountability measures that will require government agencies implementing these targets do so in a cost-effective and economically beneficial manner. Senator De León has a proven record of holding the ARB accountable and making sure their clean energy investments are equitable and reach communities disproportionately impacted by pollution.
Full details of bill can be found here.