De Leon: ‘Utilities have bigger issues to deal with’
ACCELERATING RENEWABLE OBLIGATIONS
California has repeatedly sought to assert itself as a renewable energy leader. State Sen. Kevin De León, D-Los Angeles, is speaking at a news conference at 10 a.m. today outside the Capitol promoting his bill to raise California’s renewable portfolio standard targets and establish a “100 percent policy” calling for all electricity to come from a mix of both RPS-eligible and zero-carbon resources by then end of 2045.
Under Senate Bill 100, RPS obligations would accelerate from 50 percent to 60 percent by 2030. According to a recent bill analysis, “most retail sellers are well on their way to meeting their current RPS compliance obligations of 33% by 2020.”
De León insists it is necessary to raise RPS obligations, which he says will help reduce costs customers pay to utility companies. Several agriculture groups and utility companies oppose the bill, including Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric Company. Some retail sellers worry the bill would increase overhead costs, which could then be passed on to customers.
“We believe Senate Bill 100 takes strides toward moving to a holistic statewide solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but critical details need to be amended to protect customers from rate increases and to maintain reliability,” PG&E said in a statement. “The statute should be amended to protect customers from high costs.”
In response to the pushback, De León said industry groups have bigger fish to fry.
“I think the utilities have bigger issues to deal with, with regards to the wildfires, liability issues, transmission, reliable service to their ratepayers,” De León said. “We always try and work in collaboration with the utilities, but first and foremost, our loyalties, our allegiance are to the ratepayers of California.”
He expects a vote to be held on the Assembly floor as early as Monday, Aug. 27 and land on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk by the end of session Aug. 31.
A spokeswoman for Brown said the governor does not typically comment on pending legislation but articulated his past commitment to renewable energy goals.
Supporters, meanwhile, have visions of Brown signing the bill in conjunction with the Global Climate Action Summit he’s hosting in San Francisco Sept. 12-14.
PPIC HOSTS TALK WITH PELOSI
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is participating in a conversation at noon today with the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco. She’ll sit down with PPIC President and CEO Mark Baldassare to discuss challenges to California’s relationship with the federal government and its leader, President Donald Trump.
WHAT’S TO BLAME FOR THE HOUSING CRISIS?
According to a new report from the Sierra Club, California’s housing shortage and rising prices are “largely the result of housing policies and a land-use pattern that was set 70 to 100 years ago.”
In the report, the group calls on the state to implement several of the group’s recommendations, such as allowing local housing bonds to be passed by a simple majority vote, rather than a two-thirds majority. The Sierra Club also suggests cities develop incentives to encourage local agencies to “adopt inclusionary housing ordinances.”
TWEET OF THE DAY
Gov. Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) — “This is a declaration of war against America and all of humanity – it will not stand. Truth and common sense will triumph over Trump’s insanity.”
INFLUENCER OF THE DAY
“Of course. Focusing on safely extracting oil offshore means having to transport less fuels by rail, truck or pipeline. California is an immense state and our people use a large quantity of oil. Increasing supply will bring down the cost. Which is one way to make California more affordable.”
— Jon Fleischman, Publisher of FlashReport
If Jerry Brown bails on bail reform now, The Bee’s Editorial Board thinks California will regret it. Though Senate Bill 10 is far from perfect, The Ed Board believes it kills the predatory cash bail industry.
Surina Khan, CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California, thinks California women are second class on economic security.