Victory! AB 2145 Defeated in the California Senate

Kirsten Schwind, Local Clean Energy Alliance (LCEA) Steering Committee member, Al Weinrub, LCEA Coordinator, and Colin Miller, Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland Coordinator celebrate the AB 2145 victory.

As the final gavel fell on this year’s state Senate legislative session at 3am on August 30, AB 2145, the bill meant to kill Community Choice energy programs in California, met its own well-deserved demise. This result was a stunning victory for community-based energy advocates.

AB 2145 Further Weakened, But Still Alive & Kicking

AB 2145, the monopoly utility bill meant to kill Community Choice energy programs in California, continues to move forward in the State legislature.  On Thursday, August 14, despite the best efforts of a broad coalition opposing the bill, AB 2145 passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now headed for a full floor vote before the end of August.

However, the Appropriations Committee amended the bill, further weakening it. The new language removes a five-year rate setting requirement for Community Choice programs, signalling another victory for Californians for Energy Choice, the broad statewide coalition of over 150 local government, environmental, social equity, business, and labor groups.

AB 2145 Weakened, But Still Lethal

On June 23 AB 2145 passed out of the California Senate’s Energy Committee somewhat weakened but still tremendously lethal.

The  bill, introduced by powerful corporate forces, is meant to kill Community Choice energy programs in California.

Despite a powerful statewide effort to bury AB 2145 in the Senate Committee (see for example, the June 19 Oakland protest), the bill emerged intact, but in an amended form. While its most problematic provision (opt-in) was removed, AB 2145 still contains two caustic provisions, and a newly proposed, anti-competitive geographical limitation.

It is now headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee for action on August 4.

Oakland Rally Protests PG&E Attack on Local Clean Energy and Jobs

On June 19, a spritied noon-time crowd of over sixty people rallied outside PG&E’s Webster Street payment center in downtown Oakland to protest PG&E's backing of AB 2145, the Monopoly Utility Power Grab of 2014. The bill is meant to prevent the establishment of new community-based energy programs under California's 2002 Community Choice energy law.

The rally, organized by the Local Clean Energy Alliance and the Sierra Club Bay Chapter, demanded that PG&E stop using ratepayer dollars to undermine the Community Choice energy law, thereby denying communities a greener and lower priced alternative to PG&E electricity.

Alameda County Supes Vote to Move Forward on Community Choice Energy

On Tuesday, June 3, 2014, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to take the first steps in establishing an East  Bay Community Choice energy program, approving $1.3 million in funding for an exploratory phase.

The Board chambers were packed with supporters, many wearing yellow T-shirts with the slogan “Want a Choice?”  and waving color-coordinated signs reading “Support Community Choice Energy!”

AB 2145: Bill to Gut Community Choice Energy Clears State Asssembly

Californians for Energy Choice, a diverse coalition opposing an effort by the  state's investor-owned utilities to gut Community Choice energy, decried passage of AB 2145 by the California Assembly on May 28.  Labeling the bill the "Utility Monopoly Power Grab of 2014," the coalition noted that if passed by the California Senate and signed into law, AB 2145 would dangerously undermine California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to create thousands of local clean energy jobs.

In the past few weeks, over one hundred fifty local governments, government agencies, businesses and business associations, public officials, and grassroots community and environmental organizations have registered strong opposition to AB 2145. The Local Clean Energy Alliance has taken a prominent role in organizing this opposition.

Growing Clean Energy Jobs in Oakland: Momentum for Community Choice Energy

On Saturday, April 5, the Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland Campaign of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition hosted a community forum and town hall on the future of energy in Oakland: "Growing Clean Energy Jobs in Oakland." Many thanks to all who partnered, participated, spoke, and volunteered!

Youth UpRising in East Oakland provided the venue for an exciting day of people-powered solutions for climate action, clean energy, and jobs. 100 people of all ages and backgrounds representing the beautiful diversity of Oakland, and over twenty partnering organizations came together to explore possible answers to the questions, "How do we create more jobs for our community, especially our youth? Is it possible for those jobs to be good for people AND for the planet? ...and how can the COMMUNITY, including youth, lead the way?"

AB 327: Beyond Net Metering in California

By Rosana Francescato

At a recent Local Clean Energy Alliance event in Oakland, Brad Heavner, Policy Director for the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), gave the scoop on what’s happening next with net metering in California and talked about the implications of AB 327, signed into law last year.

Initially, solar advocates opposed the bill. But without AB 327, net metering, which has resulted in several thousand megawatts of installed solarPV in California, would have expired at the end of 2014. The bill preserves net metering into 2017, but it contains a number of other more controversial provisions. As a result, reactions to the bill have been mixed.

But most importantly, AB 327 leaves the future of net metering up in the air.

4th Annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference: A Powerful Gathering

On October 17th, 2013, 170 community leaders and renewable energy advocates representing 90 organizations convened at the California Endowment’s Conference Center in downtown Oakland for the fourth annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference, hosted by the Local Clean Energy Alliance. Photographs of the Conference as well as videos of the sessions are available on the Local Clean Energy Alliance’s Conference website.

350 Bay Area Campaigns Confront the Fossil Menace

The last several months have witnessed an intensified opposition to fossil fuel expansion in the Bay Area. Lobbying the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and urging public institutions to divest fossil fuel company holdings are two of six campaigns that are being organized by 350 Bay Area a local, grassroots spin-off of, the international effort to return atmospheric Carbon Dioxide to 350 parts per million

Leaders of these two 350 Bay Area campaigns were featured presenters at the Local Clean Energy Alliance monthly meeting on May 28.


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