- Created on Thursday, 16 August 2012 17:15
- Written by Imperial Valley News
Sacramento, California - Today, a regulatory streamlining bill authored by Asm. V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) passed its final hurdle in the state legislature and now heads to the Governor. In addition, several bills were approved in the Senate Appropriations Committee and advance to the Senate Floor.
Relating to lithium extraction in geothermal technologies, AB 2205 will help spur business creation in new industries tied to geothermal energy. The bill makes a regulatory clarification so that existing regulations applying to geothermal plants also apply to new clean processes that extract beneficial materials from geothermal brine in closed loop systems at these plants. These processes did not exist when the regulatory framework for geothermal energy was developed, resulting in ambiguity that has impeded the build out of this emerging industry.
“This bill helps provide green resources to build out the green economy,” said Pérez. “By ensuring the code reflects new technological innovations, we can help our state remain competitive and encourage business development, while meeting our emissions reduction goals.”
Lithium is an important element needed for the production of electric vehicle batteries and other energy storage technologies, the production of which helps meet the state’s emission reduction and electric vehicle goals while encouraging business development in this field. By clarifying the code to reflect technological advances to extract lithium, the State of California will be positioned to be a major producer of this valuable element.
In addition, the following bills were approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and now head to the Senate Floor for consideration:
AB 1411 makes key changes to the California Enterprise Zone program that strengthen the oversight, management and accountability of the program, while providing a stronger program focus on targeted populations, such as veterans, the unemployed, disabled and low income households. The reforms included in the bill reflect months of negotiations and the general agreement of stakeholder groups.
AB 1830 clarifies the Public Utilities Code in instances where mobile home park water rates are found to be unjust and unreasonable, so that the term “rate relief” may also include the reimbursement of funds to residents who have been overcharged. This change would provide the same rights and protections to residents of mobilehome parks who pay for their water services through the park as are enjoyed by customers of Investor Owned Utilities. The need for this policy remedy surfaced due to the January ruling by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding the exorbitant water rates charged by Sunbird Mobilehome Park in Thermal, California.
AB 2671 extends to 2018 the sunset on a provision in the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program providing authority to the program to leverage its capital reserves at a maximum ratio of $5 to every $1 held in reserve. The extension ensures this important access to capital program can continue to operate under the most flexible provisions to assist the largest number of small businesses.
AB 2339 (Williams/V.M. Perez) related to the deployment and use of geothermal technologies, requires the California Energy Commission, in consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, the Air Resources Board, and other stakeholders, to evaluate and recommend policies and implementation strategies to overcome barriers in this industry.