E2's agenda for the coming year
Members meet with key State Legislators to protect landmark bill
Topics to include health costs, water, efficiency and transportation
Chapter Director, New England E2
Remembering one of the founding members of E2
Network, Learn, and Discuss E2's Issues with Other Members
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| E2 Members meeting with Speaker Perez || |
The defeat of Prop 23 - the “Dirty Energy Initiative”- at the end of 2010 set a positive tone for 2011. But despite the resounding victory, California’s budget deficit and a lingering national recession provided challenges for the 2011 legislative session while California’s Agencies made great progress. In California, E2 was focused on supporting the clean energy economy in order to drive California’s economic recovery. We focused on areas with the largest impact - legislation and regulatory efforts that helped create jobs and helped business grow, and opportunities that benefited clean air, clean energy, and economic growth. We also worked to establish a relationship with newly elected Governor Jerry Brown and his administration.
E2 worked closely with NRDC and a broad coalition to pass a landmark bill to increase California’s renewable energy portfolio standard to 33% by 2020. E2 focused on successfully getting Republican votes for the bill. E2 also supported SB454, Senator Pavley’s bill to improve the enforcement of and compliance with California’s appliance and building energy efficiency standards.
E2 was represented on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) review committee. As mentioned in the December 2011 newsletter, the Air Resources Board strengthened the requirements to distribute low carbon transportation fuels under the LCFS. During the year-long process, E2 identified additional economic policies that we will pursue in 2012.
Two bills that E2 supported will continue into 2012 - SB 791 (Steinberg), the regional congestion reduction fee bill, and SB 843 (Wolk) Community-Based Renewable Energy Self-Generation Program.
Priorities for 2012
2012 promises to be an interesting year - the perfect storm of redistricting, open primaries, and term limits will present more competitive races than California voters have seen in 20 years. Governor Brown is anxious to get a tax measure on the ballot to help resolve the state’s fiscal woes. The 2012 election and California’s legislative session will occur in a tough economy with a state budget facing serious challenges. Many candidates and legislators will make unsupported economic claims to undermine our environmental laws. Against this backdrop, we aren’t likely to see huge new environmental legislative gains. However, we will still see a lot of action that will have an effect on how California’s air, water, and coastline fare.
We anticipate much discussion about how to spend the expected billions of dollars of revenue to be generated by California’s cap-and-trade regulation. E2 will be monitoring the $11 billion water bond scheduled to be on the November ballot. E2 will also partner with NRDC’s legislative team on pending toxics legislation aimed at getting chemicals out of household furniture.
E2 will continue to actively support SB 843, which will be heard in the California Assembly Utility and Commerce Committee sometime this Spring. SB 843 expands the number of electricity customers that can participate in renewable energy self-generation programs to include renters, people living in multi-family units, small business, public entities, and people who lack sufficient credit or do not have an appropriate roof for roof-top solar. It accomplishes this through market competition without any state subsidies. Electricity customers can move and have the benefit applied to their new location since there is no equipment required at the electricity customer’s site.
We also anticipate that the oil industry and its allies will take their attacks on the low-carbon fuel standard to the legislature. In light of a recent ruling that California’s low-carbon fuel rules violated the Interstate Commerce Clause by discriminating against crude oil and biofuels producers located outside of California, E2 is assisting the Attorney General’s office in building the economic case for the LCFS.
E2 is working on a long-term, low carbon fuel purchase program for California public entities. The proposed program would create long-term arrangements between California public entities such as cities, state government and schools and low-carbon fuel producers and is based on a similar program implemented in Hawaii. The goals of the program are to help public entities have a stable, affordable source of low-carbon fuels and to provide a firm contract allowing fuel providers to structure private debt financing.
California E2 members will be meeting on February 3 to finalize our advocacy priorities for 2012 in our first-ever state-wide event.
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