Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Cap-and-trade auction, clean energy summit advance California’s green agenda

Recurrent Energy solar facility in Elk Grove, Jan. 15, 2012. Pricing pollution has produced a big cash windfall for California, and another infusion will start taking shape Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015.
Recurrent Energy solar facility in Elk Grove, Jan. 15, 2012. Pricing pollution has produced a big cash windfall for California, and another infusion will start taking shape Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Modesto Bee file

Pricing pollution has produced a big cash windfall for California, and another infusion will start taking shape today.

The state’s cap-and-trade system requires businesses to purchase allowances for their climate-altering emissions, and it has generated some $2.8 billion for climate related programs to date. The Air Resources Board is selling off potentially more than 75,000 additional permits today, promising even more funding to be directed by elected officials who still haven’t decided how to divvy up the existing pot.

State officials will also be dropping in on a clean energy conference in San Francisco. The confab is focused on distributed energy, a term that encompasses energy storage devices such as batteries and generators such as wind and solar projects. Attendees will include California Public Utilities Commission head Michael Picker, California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, senior gubernatorial adviser Clifford Rechtschaffen, and an array of folks representing both utilities and companies offering services like rooftop solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations.

DIVING IN: If you need evidence that the drought continues to weigh heavily on the minds of lawmakers, today features the third hearing on water security in two days. An Assembly committee examining water use and potential new water sources will draw on California officials, including California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird, California Department of Water Resources head Mark Cowin and State Water Resources Control Board executive director Tom Howard. Legislators will get some international insight from Israeli expert Eilon Adar and former Australian water official David Downie. From 1 to 5 p.m. in room 447.

STRIKERS: Having voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, members of the California Faculty Association will be holding a mass demonstration outside of the California State University Chancellor’s office in Long Beach, with some of them planning to wear t-shirts bearing the phrase “I don’t want to strike but I will.” Faculty members will testify about their grievances during a Board of Trustees meeting today, also in Long Beach.

COOL ON SCHOOL: CSU faculty aren’t the only ones dissatisfied with the education profession. Education policy experts are promoting a poll examining why California faces a shortfall of new teachers and discussing how to reverse the trend. The Learning Policy Institute’s Linda Darling-Hammond and EdSource’s Louis Freedberg will be joined on a press call by UC Davis School of Education dean Harold Levine and Joe Aguerrebere, who helps oversee teacher education for the CSU chancellor’s office.

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

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