We advocate for a Climate-Safe California

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Updated 1/20/2021

Welcome to the 2021 California legislative session! Throughout 2021 updates will be made weekly and a link to this page will be published via The Climate Center’s e-news.

Below is a partial list of bills we are tracking in the 2021 legislative session. For details on any bill listed below, click on the hyperlinked bill number and that will bring you to the State’s official legislative info page for that bill. For the complete list of bills we are tracking, click HERE.


Bills sponsored by The Climate Center

SB 99 (Dodd) The Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021 would require the California Energy Commission to develop and implement a technical assistance and grant program to support local governments in developing community energy resilience plans, prioritizing state support for the most vulnerable communities.  The bill sets forth guiding principles for plan development, including equitable access to reliable energy, and integration with other existing local planning documents. For more information about this bill visit the Community Energy Resilience page.


Bills that The Climate Center supports

AB 33 (Ting) Will prohibit new public buildings for which construction begins on or after January 1, 2022, to have natural (fossil) gas connections.

SB 18 (Skinner) This is a bill that has several elements aimed at advancing green (renewables-based) hydrogen in California.

Note: the following four bills (30, 31, 32, and 37) constitute a “building decarbonization package.”

SB 30 (Cortese) This bill, dubbed the “State Buildings and Assets Decarbonization Act of 2021” mandates  that State buildings and assets achieve carbon-neutrality by 2035 and that the State  divest from projects that are not zero emission by 2023. Beginning in 2022, all  newly designed and constructed state buildings must be zero emission. SB 30 Fact Sheet.  

SB 31 (Cortese) This bill, dubbed the “Decarbonization Programs Act” would develop new building  decarbonization programs through the California Energy Commission and the Public  Utilities Commission, with a particular emphasis on providing opportunities for low income customers.  SB 31 Fact Sheet.  

SB 32 (Cortese) This bill, dubbed the “Decarbonization Act of 2021” would require all cities and counties in  California to update their General Plans with objectives, targets, and policies to fully  decarbonize their building stock. SB 32 Fact Sheet.  

SB 37 (Cortese) Would enact the Dominic Cortese “Cortese List” Act of 2021 and would expressly provide that a project that is included on the Cortese List shall also not be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as a project where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment, commonly known as the “common-sense exemption.” SB 37 Fact Sheet.

SB 67 (Becker) This bill aims to accelerate the state’s progress toward having 100% of electricity provided by renewable or other zero-carbon sources on a 24-hour, 7-day basis.


Bills that The Climate Center opposes

Coming Soon!


Bills that The Climate Center is monitoring but for which we have not taken a public position

AB 11 (Ward) Existing law requires the Strategic Growth Council to establish up to twelve regional climate change coordinating groups to develop and work on climate adaptation for their communities. This bill would require the Council to establish and administer a regional climate collaborative program to assist under-resourced communities to access statewide public and other grant moneys for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.

AB 39 (Chau) Would establish the California-China Climate Institute, housed at UC Berkeley, in partnership with the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at Tsinghua University, China to foster collaboration to inform and shape climate policy and advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, advance joint policy research on major climate issues, support high-level dialogue on specific climate issues, and provide training to specified entities to advance climate and environmental policies.

AB 43 (Friedman, Ting Chiu, Quirk) Would require the California Traffic Safety Program to identify and address locations with pedestrian and bicycle related crashes. The bill would extend the period of time a lowered speed limit can be justified as necessary for safety (as opposed to being used as a speed trap) if there has been an increase in traffic-related crashes. Replaces the 85% rule for setting speed limits.

AB 64 (Quirk) This bill is about developing a strategy to achieve GHG-free electricity in accord with state climate goals. It directs the CPUC, Energy Commission, and Air Resources Board to develop a strategy on how to achieve state clean energy and climate goals in a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial manner. The bill would require the strategy to include a plan to promote the development of technologies that can help achieve state policy goals.

AB 113 (Boerner Horvath) Spot bill related to transportation electrification, electric vehicles, and EV-grid integration. May have some bearing on Community Choice Aggregators.

AB 125 (R. Rivas) States the intent of the Legislature to enact subsequent legislation to issue a bond to support solutions to the climate crisis and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that would create a more equitable and resilient food and farming system.

SB 1 (Atkins) Addresses sea level rise. This bill would create within state government the California Sea Level Rise State and Regional Support Collaborative.

SB 27 (Skinner) Would establish carbon sequestration goals for natural and working lands and would require the Air Resources Board, as part of its scoping plan, to establish specified carbon dioxide removal targets for 2030 and beyond.

SB 36 (Skinner) Energy-related spot bill.

SB 44 (Allen) Would provide expedited judicial review of CEQA challenges for Environmental Leadership Transit Projects, which are defined as major public transit rail line infrastructure projects that meet certain sustainability standards and labor requirements.

SB 45 (Portantino, et al) Establishes the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2022 with a $5,510,000,000 general obligation bond.

SB 68 (Becker) Building decarbonization: This bill is aimed at helping the state achieve its climate and air pollution reduction goals in the building sector through actions such as reducing barriers to upgrading electrical service panels or accommodating additional electrical appliances within existing service panels.


 

Below is the final post from the 2020 legislative session. For a complete list of the 131 bills we tracked in 2020, click HERE

The 2020 legislative session came to a close on September 30, 2020 the deadline for the Governor to sign or veto bills.


Below are several, but not all of the key bills that we tracked in 2020. If you are curious about the fate of  a bill that is not presented below, please email woody@theclimatecenter.org


Climate Policy 

AB 78 (Multiple co-authors) This is a budget trailer bill within the overall 2020-21 budget package necessary to implement actions related to the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank). It establishes a Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund at the IBank for the purpose of making loans for projects that further the state’s climate goals. The Strategic Growth Council will advise the Legislature on categories to fund.  STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

AB 1839 (Bonta, et al) This bill would have enacted the California Green New Deal and make a series of legislative findings and declarations pertaining to various environmental, social, and economic conditions in the State, including an enumeration of specified rights that all residents of the state have. STATUS: Died in committee.

AB 2621 (Mullin) SUPPORT. This bill would have required the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, by June 1, 2021, to establish guidelines for the development of regional climate adaptation plans by regional collaboratives. STATUS: Died in committee.

AB 2954 (R. Rivas) SUPPORT. This bill would have required the State to identify by July 1, 2021, an overall climate goal for the State’s natural and working lands, as defined, to sequester carbon and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. STATUS: Died in committee.

AB 3256 (Eduardo Garcia, et al) This bill would have placed a General Obligation Bond on the November 2020 ballot. This bill would have enacted the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $6,980,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, drought preparation, and flood protection program. STATUS: Died in committee.

SB 1191 (B. Dahle) OPPOSE. Read the Letter of Opposition that The Climate Center is a signatory to. STATUS: Died in committee.

SB 1258 (Stern) SUPPORT – Read The Climate Center’s Letter of Support. Would have required the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank) to administer the Climate Catalyst Revolving Fund. See AB 78. STATUS: Died in committee.

SB 1320 (Stern) SUPPORT – Directs the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP), to complete a California-specific climate change assessment no less frequently than every five years to assess the impacts and risks of climate change and identify potential solutions to inform legislative policy. STATUS: Signed by the Governor


Climate Justice

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – Read The Climate Center’s Letter of Support. This bill will would have established regulations to protect public health and safety near oil and gas extraction facilities, including a minimum setback distance between oil and gas activities and sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics. STATUS: Died in committee. Proponents are working on how to revisit the issue next session.

AB 3214 (Limón) – SUPPORT. Read coalition Letter of Support that The Climate Center’s signed on to. This bill increases existing fines for oil spills. STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

SB 1012 (Hurtado) – Oppose unless amended. Read our Letter of Opposition. The intent of this bill is generally good but recent amendments have significantly weakened it. STATUS: Died in committee.


Community Choice Energy 

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill would have created the Central Reliability Authority (CRA), a non-profit public benefit corporation, to purchase residual Resource Adequacy needed to meet state requirements while still allowing load-serving entities (LSEs), such as Community Choice Agencies (CCAs), to maintain their procurement autonomy. STATUS: Died in committee.


Clean Mobility

AB 326 (Muratsuchi) – SUPPORT. This bill would have allowed electric vehicle manufacturers to offer vehicles directly to customers on a month to month basis in a membership or subscription model. Status: Died in committee.

AB 841 (Ting)  – See details in THIS ARTICLE from our Clean Power Exchange team. Provides funding for upgrades to HVAC systems in schools to create a healthier indoor air environment for students; Also provides funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

AB 2145 (Ting) SUPPORT – This bill would have required the CPUC to direct electrical corporations to file applications for programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification to meet the goal of installing at least 1,000,000 electric vehicle charging ports by December 31, 2030.  STATUS: Died in committee.


Sequestration

Working lands (farms, etc.)

AB 1071 (Limón) Sponsor: CalCAN  – SUPPORT. Would have created a grant program for agricultural sector climate adaptation. STATUS: Died in committee.

Protecting Natural landscapes sequestering carbon

AB 3030 (Kalra) SUPPORT. Would have declared it to be the goal of the state to conserve at least 30 percent of the land and 30 percent of the ocean within the state by 2030. STATUS: Died in committee.


Community Energy Resilience

AB 740 (Burke) – This bill would have required the CPUC to ensure that the standards established to facilitate the commercialization of microgrids for distribution customers of large electrical corporations do not impose a size cap on microgrid projects. STATUS: Died in committee.

AB 1001 (Ting) SUPPORT – Would have established the School Disaster Resiliency Act, which would require the Energy Commission to administer a program to provide loans to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools for school resiliency projects. STATUS: Died in committee.

AB 3021 (Ting) SUPPORT – Would have appropriated $300M per fiscal year in the 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 fiscal years from the General Fund to the California Energy Commission to administer a program to provide resiliency grant funding and technical assistance to local educational agencies for the installation of energy storage systems. STATUS: Died in committee.

AB 2789 (Kamlager) Would have appropriated $1.5M to require the CPUC, in consultation with the CA Energy Commission, to request the California Council on Science and Technology to undertake and complete a study relative to electrical grid outages and cost avoidance resulting from deployment of eligible renewable energy resources, battery storage systems, and demand response technologies. STATUS: Died in committee.

AB 3251 (Bauer-Kahan) – Would have required that charging of energy storage systems be treated as load in calculations for demand response programs, and that capacity from energy storage systems installed on the customer side of the meter be allowed to be aggregated for purposes of determining resource adequacy capacity; and electricity exported to the grid from the customer side of the meter be allowed to count toward the capacity obligations of load-serving entities. STATUS: Died in committee.

SB 45 (Allen, et al) would have established the “Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020.” This was a proposed $5.51 billion general obligation bond to be placed on the November 3, 2020 statewide general election. STATUS: Died in committee.

SB 1215 (Stern) SUPPORT – would have established the Office of Emergency Services in the office of the Governor and provides that the office is responsible for the state’s emergency and disaster response services for natural, technological, or manmade disasters and emergencies. STATUS: Died in committee.


Click HERE for the complete list of bills we monitored in 2019

Click HERE for the complete list of bills we monitored in the 2018 legislative session.

Click HERE for the complete list of bills we monitored in the 2017 legislative session.

Click HERE for the complete list of bills we monitored in the 2015-16 legislative session.


Keeping track of Legislation

In any given legislative year there are bills that either directly relate to the climate crisis, energy, resilience, decarbonization clean cars, and Community Choice Energy. Here are a few tips on how to keep track.

Legislative Calendars:
Bill Tracking:

The official California legislation tracking website is: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/ This is where you can find out about the status of any bill and subscribe to updates on specific bills. Bills can be searched in several different ways including by author, topic, bill number, etc.

Another excellent tool is the Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker that can be used to find energy-related bills in California, other states, and at the federal level.

Open meetings law:

All State-level governing bodies are subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. In order to understand the rules around advance notice of meetings, posting of agendas, requirements for public comment, etc., it would be a good idea to review the Act.

Additional tips and resources:
  • To find out who your California representatives are visit this handy site: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
  • Having a hard time understanding the lingo? Try this glossary of common legislative terms.
  • When nothing else works, you can always try the FAQs!

 


Past bills we have supported

Price on carbon

HR 763: Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 is a bill in the United States House of Representatives that proposes a fee on carbon at the point of extraction to encourage market-driven innovation of clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Center supports this bill. Click here to read an assessment of this bill by Dr. Noah Kaufman, John Larsen, Peter Marsters, Hannah Kolus and Shashank Mohan of Columbia University. Related: How to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution by Nearly 40 Percent in 10 Years by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, November 13, 2017 SB 775 – Cap and Dividend Authors: Senator Bob Wieckowski and Senator Pro Tem Kevin de León The Climate Center endorses this bill. SB 775 enacts into law a post-2020 cap and trade program as an update to California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which put a cap (limit) on carbon emissions, and allowed businesses to purchase permits to pollute, and to trade those permits in an open market. The number of permits declines over time, giving businesses time to reduce their emissions as the whole economy shifts to clean energy. The revenues created from the sale of the permits go back to the people of California in the form of dividends to help offset the rising costs of energy use. Revenues also go toward investments in renewable energy.


SB 100 – 100% carbon-free renewable energy by 2045 Author: Kevin de León SB 100, the California Clean Energy Act of 2017 does all of the following:

  1. Establishes an overall state target of 100% clean energy for California by 2045 by directing the CA Public Utilities Commission, CA Energy Commission, and Air Resources Board to adopt policies and requirements to achieve total reliance on renewable energy and zero-carbon resources by that date.
  2. Accelerates SB 350’s 50% mandate for clean renewable energy from 2030 to 2026 and establishes a new RPS benchmark of 60% by 2030 to ensure more clean energy in the California grid sooner.

Link to bill text and status: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB100 In the Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/24/california-100-percent-renewable-energy-future-may-hit-roadblocks/


SB 71 – Solar Roofs Author: Scott Weiner Requires installation of solar panels on any new residential or commercial construction subject to the “solar ready” requirements of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, generally single family homes, low-rise multi-family buildings and commercial buildings of 10 stories or less. Requires the CEC to consider requiring the installation of a cost-effective rooftop solar electric or solar thermal energy generation system on all new buildings. This bill requires the CEC to make its consideration byJanuary 1, 2020, for new residential buildings and by January 1, 2023, for new nonresidential buildings. Link to bill text and status: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB71


SB 700 — Solar Energy Storage Initiative Author: Scott Wiener Creates the Energy Storage Initiative to provide rebates to electricity customers for the installation of home and business energy storage systems, which allow solar energy to be stored and used throughout the day and night. This initiative is modeled on the 10-year California Solar Initiative, which is widely regarded as having been successful. It will be a similar, 10-year incentive program, this time for storage. Link to bill text and status: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB700


AB 262 the “Buy Clean” bill Authors: Rob Bonta and Susan Eggman This bill requires the California Department of General Services (DGS) to establish standards used in the bid process related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when certain eligible materials are used in state public works projects. Link to bill text and status: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB262 News Stories about AB 262 on Buy Clean California’s website: http://www.buycleancalifornia.org/news-and-media/


Community Choice Energy Law

The two pieces  of legislation that make Community Choice possible in California are AB 117 (Migden, 2002) and SB 790 (Leno, 2011). AB 117 established Community Choice and SB 790 strengthened it by creating a “code of conduct” that the incumbent utilities must adhere to in their activities relative to Community Choice.

Community Choice law, Assembly Bill 117 (Migden), enacted in 2002, can be found in the California Public Utilities Code sections 331.1,381.1707 and Code Sections 360 through 380.5. Scroll down to code section 366.2, where the main body of information describing Community Choice can be found. Community Choice law was conceived as a way to salvage a good part of the deregulation experiment of the late 1990s and early 2000s, choice.