SACRAMENTO –Two bills authored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia that are critical to the Salton Sea region passed the Assembly this week. AB 197 passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 6-2 vote yesterday. This bill would require the Public Utilities Commission to direct investor owned and publicly owned utilities to procure renewable energy resources that provide energy around the clock, and help achieve the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The second bill, AB 1095 deals with Salton Sea restoration efforts, passed the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife on an 11-2 vote today. The bill would serve as a vehicle for the allocation of Proposition 1 Restoration funds for the Salton Sea via an allocation to the California State Natural Resources Agency.
“As we move toward a clean utility energy sector, California needs to begin to evaluate cost-effective strategies and integrate the levels of clean renewables that maintain grid reliability, because wind and solar only produce energy when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. As we rely less on natural gas, and rely more on clean energy, the affordability of electricity bills is another factor to consider. My Clean Energy Act ensures that the necessary long-term planning begins now,” said Assemblymember Garcia.
“Through my legislation (AB 1095), we will work on bringing the needed relief to restoring the Sea which is deteriorating rapidly and faces a bleak future if no immediate action is taken. Any further delay puts our entire region at risk for serious economic, environmental, and public health consequences,” stated Assemblymember Garcia.
AB 197 will:
· Require the Public Utilities Commission to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the various renewable energy resource types by, among other things, the grid reliability and greenhouse gas reduction benefits associated with renewable energy resources.
· This will send a clear signal to the market that clean, renewable resources will continue to be a valuable and integral part of California’s energy future, while also ensuring that Californians continue to benefit from the clean energy economy.
Both AB 197 (Clean Energy Act) and AB 1095 (Salton Sea) now head to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations for a vote.