Capitol Alert

Green California may become even greener

Kevin de León wants to make environmentally friendly California even greener.

A day after unveiling a plan to upend California’s cap-and-trade program, Democrats in the Senate are introducing a proposal Tuesday that calls for 100 percent of the retail electricity sold in the state to come from renewable energy sources by the end of 2045.

The bill also shortens the timeline to hit interim targets along the way that became law under Senate Bill 350 in 2015. Current law dictates that 50 percent of California electricity must come from renewable sources by the end of 2030, which the proposal bumps up five years to the end of 2025.

De León, who introduced both measures, said he’s revising the goals because he underestimated the industry’s ability to make the transition to renewable energy during the last session.

“I made a mistake with SB 350,” de León said Monday. “I realized that the investor-owned utilities are going to hit 50 percent by the early-to-mid 2020s without breaking a sweat. So, we should accelerate this process and demonstrate to the entire world that we can actually generate 100 percent of our electricity with clean energy and put people to work.”

The pro tem is announcing SB 100 along side leaders of the American Wind Energy Association, State Building & Construction Trades Council of California and other stakeholders at 10 a.m. on a 62-acre solar power plant on the University of California, Davis campus.

WORTH REPEATING: “It’s been nothing right now for the past few auctions.”

- Sen. Pro Tem Kevin De León talking about the disappointing results of the state’s recent cap-and-trade auctions during a news conference for a bill to overhaul the program.

UNDER PRESSURE: The Legislature is holding a hearing to discuss a blistering state audit of the University of California’s central administration. The audit, released a week ago, questioned the university’s recent decision to raise tuition after stowing away $175 million in secret reserves and slammed the office of the president for interfering in the probe. Both California State Auditor Elaine Howle and University of California President Janet Napolitano are expected to testify at 2:30 p.m. in room 4202 of the Capitol.

FALLEN HEROES: Gov. Jerry Brown is speaking at a California Highway Patrol Memorial Ceremony in West Sacramento today. The annual event honors all 227 highway patrol officers who have died in the line of duty during the agency’s 88-year history. Officer Lucas Forrest Chellew, an eight-year veteran in South Sacramento who was killed during a car chase on Fruitridge Road on Feb. 22, is among the officers being remembered at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony at the California Highway Patrol Academy.

CITY OF TREES: Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes and Assemblyman Kevin McCarty are busting out the garden gloves and planting trees together in honor of National Arbor Day. Volunteers will begin digging holes at 9:30 a.m. The lawmakers are expected to show up around noon to give remarks, plant and stake trees at 811 Grand Avenue in Del Paso Heights.

FRAUD FOCUS: State Treasurer John Chiang and consumer groups will be in Room 1190 at 12:30 p.m. to urge support for Senate Bill 33, legislation that would allow judges to put aside binding arbitration agreements for victims of identity theft. The measure by state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, was prompted by allegations against Wells Fargo, which authorities say opened thousands of accounts in the names of unknowing customers. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear the bill for the first time at 1:30 p.m.

Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 9:16 a.m. May 2 with the correct title for state Treasurer John Chiang.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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