Sacramento, California - Thursday, in the midst of fevered policy discussions surrounding the fate of California’s clean energy future, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia successfully advanced AB 893, his proposal supporting geothermal, out of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The geothermal procurement mandated in this measure is of immense significance to the Riverside and Imperial County communities in Garcia’s district.
“Areas surrounding the Salton Sea are uniquely ripe for renewable energy development, geothermal being chief among them,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “Despite the increased reliability of geothermal, these resources have been greatly neglected in energy conversations. I introduced AB 893, to make sure that this tremendous regional opportunity is no longer overlooked and can be integrated into California's overall energy efforts. In addition to helping diversify our renewable energy portfolio, the inclusion of geothermal would unlock many economic as well as public health co-benefits for underserved areas like ours."
Geothermal energy creates high-paying jobs, not just during construction, pays property taxes and wields potential to provide additional revenue streams to some of the most impoverished areas of the state. Geothermal power plants employ six times more people than solar and 18 more times than wind while producing six times more to the local economy than both. In Imperial County, this industry serves as the largest taxpayer.
AB 893 would require that retail sellers of electricity and each local publicly owned electric utility procure a proportionate share of new geothermal capacity. At least half of the required 3,000 megawatts (MWs) would need to be procured by December 31, 2021. The other half would need to be obtained by contracts with deliveries commencing no later than January 1, 2030.
"As we work to achieve our 2030 greenhouse gas emission goals it becomes increasingly important that we take a comprehensive approach to better plan for powering California’s future in a way that ensures grid reliability and affordability for ratepayers. I look forward to further advancing AB 893 and keeping my community’s needs at the forefront of these policy discussions,” added Garcia.
Along with AB 893, Assemblymember Garcia was able to move a total of seven bills out of this afternoon’s Senate Committee on Appropriations suspense hearing. These bills are now on deck for a full Senate vote before returning to the Assembly for concurrence.
AB 626 – Homemade Food Operations Act: This bill would amend Section 113789 of the Health and Safety Code to expand the “Private Homes" exemption within the Retail Food Code's requirements for "Food Facilities" to include self-registration or permit for Homemade Food Operations. This bill will permit the sale of prepared meals and other foods from small-scale, home kitchen operations.
AB 1918 – Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation: This bill would create California’s first office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation within Department of Natural Resources The office would undertake activities such as promoting economic development and job growth of the outdoor recreation economy in the state.
AB 1945 – Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: This bill amends Health and Safety Code Section 39715 to expand the list of co-benefits and allow grant applicants from Imperial County and San Diego County to include daytime population in their proposals.
AB 2056 – Mobile Home Park Purchase Fund: This bill would authorize changes to the Mobile home Park Rehabilitation and Purchase Fund to expand the use of their program funds eligible for mobile home park acquisition and construction.
AB 2060 – Advanced Water Payments: Requires the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to within 60 days of awarding a grant from the grant fund, to provide a project proponent that requests an advanced payment and satisfies certain criteria with advanced payment of $500,000 or 50% of the grant award, whichever is less, for projects in which the project proponent is a nonprofit organization or a disadvantaged community, or the project benefits a disadvantaged community. The bill would require the advanced funds to be handled as prescribed.
AB 2453 – Air Pollution in Schools: Authorizes a school or school district located in a community with a high cumulative exposure burden to work with an air pollution control district or an air quality management district to identify school sites in need of air quality improvements and to be eligible for a community emissions reduction program grant to implement air quality mitigation efforts.