Assembly Bill 1020, a bill to establish 100% clean energy statewide, and require state agencies to accelerate their 100% clean energy policy goal by 10 years, passed the Senate Tuesday. This is just one of many 2022 climate change bills being passed by the Legislature.
Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) railed against the bill critical of propping up a lofty goal with no plan on how to achieve this.
He’s right. California lawmakers have a long history of this laissez faire style of legislating: lawmakers pass the vague law, and then allow unelected, politically appointed regulatory officials and agencies to write the laws and implementation process.
The state has passed ambitious greenhouse gas reduction and clean energy goals since 2006 when AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
At that time, AB 32 required statewide greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to at least 40% below the 1990 level by 2020. But the state achieved that in only a few short years, largely because California did not have much greenhouse gas pollution, so lawmakers moved the goal posts out to 2030, which allowed the state to continue passing more and more strict regulations and laws.
Why should anyone care about AB 32 and its debilitating regulations?
AB 32 directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to be the lead agency to implement the law. The Climate Action Team, made up of relevant state agencies, is charged with helping direct state efforts on the reduction of GHG emissions and engaging state agencies.
The Climate Action Team includes:
- California Environmental Protection Agency
- Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
- California Air Resources Board
- Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency
- Government Operations Agency
- California Natural Resources Agency
- California Department of Public Health
- Office of Emergency Services
- California Transportation Agency
- California Energy Commission
- California Public Utilities Commission
- California Department of Food and Agriculture
- Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
- Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Water Resources
- Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery
- State Water Resources Control Board
California lawmakers also passed Senate Bill 2, the Renewable Portfolio Standard program in 2011, which required all retail sellers of electricity and publicly owned utilities to buy 33 percent of the electricity delivered to their retail customers from renewable resources by 2020.
Again, the goalposts were moved and now electricity providers must each meet at least 50% of their electrical load from renewable energy resources by December 31, 2026, and at least 60% by December 31, 2030.
State law – codified under SB 100 (De León), establishes the policy that eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources supply 100% of all retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers and 100% of electricity procured to serve all state agencies by December 31, 2045, the “100% clean energy policy.”
Bill analysis published opposition to SB 1020: “The Western Electrical Contractors Association writes in opposition to the bill’s requirements of project labor agreements on state agency procurement, claiming the requirement will raise costs, reduce competition and discriminate against otherwise qualified workers. The State Water Contractors and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California have an Oppose Unless Amended position on the bill, citing cost concerns from the accelerated procurement required for SWP. A coalition of environmental and environmental justice organizations have an Oppose Unless Amended position on the bill, noting their concern with policies – such as RPS – which provide incentives to bioenergy production, specifically from dairy digester biomethane.”
Notably, lawmakers ignored the additional $3.2 billion in costs in SB 1020 to the Department of Water Resources, which will pass the costs on to the 27 million ratepayers of 29 public water agencies of the State Water Project.
Lovely. This bill is deleterious to the people of California and will only serve to send more California businesses to other states, while costing the state’s residents more on energy and water.