Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California climate bill gets new look

Gov. Jerry Brown listens to Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León as they announce they will abandon legislative efforts this year to require a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in motor vehicles by 2030 on Sept. 9, 2015. Brown said other elements of Senate Bill 350 remain intact and that the bill preserves the state Air Resources Board existing power to make regulations that reduce emissions.
Gov. Jerry Brown listens to Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León as they announce they will abandon legislative efforts this year to require a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in motor vehicles by 2030 on Sept. 9, 2015. Brown said other elements of Senate Bill 350 remain intact and that the bill preserves the state Air Resources Board existing power to make regulations that reduce emissions. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Those tremors you feel beneath your feet are signs of the constantly shifting end-of-session landscape, with lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown overhauling session-defining climate change legislation.

In case you were asleep between 4 p.m. yesterday and now, Democratic leaders conceded a major defeat on Senate Bill 350 last night by removing a 50 percent petroleum use reduction mandate. It was a victory for an oil industry that fought the bill with full force.

But there’s still plenty in the bill, as backers would tell you: namely, measures to expand California’s renewable energy use so it generates 50 percent of electricity by 2030 and to double energy efficiency. We’ll get a sense of where things stand today when SB 350 gets amended in a last-minute Assembly Natural Resources Committee hearing.

Meanwhile, we’ll be keeping you updated on bills dealing with everything from medical cannabis to kangaroo economics. Stay with us, guys: we’re almost there.

FORFEIT FIGHT: Never shy with her words, Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, is holding a press conference with the unusual goal of calling out a specific, potent interest group: law enforcement. She’ll be slamming what her office characterizes as cops’ “extraordinary efforts” to kill her Senate Bill 443, which seeks to limit civil asset forfeiture. She’ll be speaking with coauthor Assemblyman David Hadley, R-Torrance, outside the Senate chambers.

ENERGETIC: Climate change is dominating the end of session amid much politicking. If you want to delve into the policy side of the issue – i.e. how exactly California would drop emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission will host a joint workshop today laying out some options. Starting at 9:30 a.m. at 1516 Ninth Street.

EMPTY WHEEL: Lest you think autonomous vehicles belong to the distant future, industry folks and officials will be talking today about the driver-less vehicles expected to soon ply California’s roads en masse. Hosted by the Public Utilities Commission, the event will draw upon GoogleX policy head Sarah Hunter, California Department of Motor Vehicles risk management expert Bernard Soriano, Dr. Steven Shladover of UC Berkeley and Uber policy guru Ashwini Chhabra. From 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the PUC’s San Francisco auditorium.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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