SB CAN Action Alert June 9, 2014

Santa Barbara County Action Network

Action Alert

June 9, 2014

Three Topics:

  1. SB Water Guardians’ Initiative
  2. AB 2145 – Community Choice Aggregation/Alternative Energy
  3. SB CAN  H.O.T. Committee Meetings


1.  SB Water Guardians’ Initiative

The Board of Supervisors will receive a report on the Healthy Air and Water Initiative to Ban Fracking on Friday, June 13, at 9 a.m. at the Betteravia Government Center in Santa Maria, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway. (Remote testimony is available from Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara.)

The SB CAN Board of Directors supports the initiative.  At this hearing, the Board of Supervisors will receive the report they requested from staff on the impacts of the initiative on the county. The Board can choose to put the initiative on the November ballot without change or to enact it without change. The Board is expected to vote to put the measure on the ballot. We encourage our members and friends to attend the hearing and express support for the initiative. Please come early to get a seat.

2.  AB 2145 – Community Choice Aggregation (public utilities securing alternative energy on a community-wide basis)

SB CAN encourages letters to State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson urging her to oppose AB 2145.

This bill would hamstring California’s efforts to achieve its environmental goals and will effectively destroy the future of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in the state of California. To date in California, the energy mixes provided by CCAs have included greater proportions of renewable energy and at a lower cost than that provided by private utilities.

Under current law, local governments may form a CCA to create a public, not-for-profit agency to purchase and sell energy to its ratepayers. Residents of a CCA community can choose to be serviced by an investor-owned utility by opting out of the CCA at any time and no cost. AB 2145 would change the opt-out provision to opt-in, requiring local governments to start a public power provider by convincing one customer at a time to sign up. Preventing cities and counties from grouping many customers together will likely preclude Community Choice programs from competing with monopoly utilities.

Local climate action plans in Santa Barbara County include the formation of a CCA to meet their emission reduction targets. CCAs enhance the potential for local renewable energy projects. CCAs help redirect ratepayer dollars into programs that support state objectives of lower greenhouse gas emissions and more renewable energy.

AB 2145’s language calling for increased transparency in the energy mix provided by CCAs is fine, but the opt-in language in the bill would likely be the death knell for CCAs in California.

3.  SB CAN  H.O.T. (Housing, Open space and Transportation) Committee meetings

Due to the County Board of Supervisors' hearing discussed above, the South County H.O.T. Committee meeting scheduled for June 13 will be rescheduled.

The North County H.O.T. Committee meeting is still planned for 6 p.m., Thursday, June 12. It will be held at Rabobank Conference Room, 1554 S. Broadway (corner of Battles Road and Broadway), Santa Maria. Anyone sharing a progressive point of view is welcome to attend.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Ken Hough
Executive Director
[email protected]
(805) 563-0463