Legislative Update: Passed Bills Enrolled to the Governor for the 2021 Session

The deadline to pass bills occurred on September 10, 2021 for the current 2021 session. The Governor has until October 10th, 2021 to sign or veto these bills. You can link to our Legislative Database to view relevant bills from this session that we will continue to track. Several trends emerge from this session from the approximately 60 relevant bills enrolled by the legislative deadline.

There continues to be a major emphasis on wildfire planning and mitigation as the state continues to see consistent wildfires each year that burn large acreage and threaten life, safety, and property. How to decarbonize the transportation sector remains a major issue of contention as well as exploration of various ways to address emissions and infrastructure in this sector. Offshore wind development and electric generation from bioenergy facilities are also major actions this session. Finally, the battle over how to implement greenhouse gas emission (GHG) capture or removal from the atmosphere continues.

Notably, two bills related to carbon capture or removal failed to pass while two other bills went to the Governor’s desk. AB 1395 (Muratsuchi), The Climate Crisis Act, was withdrawn to the inactive file. It would have partially codified existing Executive Order B-55-18 on carbon neutrality by making net zero GHG emissions the clear legislative center piece of California climate change policy going forward. It is expected that a similar bill will be reintroduced next session. Additionally, AB 1531 (O’Donnell) also did not move forward but proposed to expand intrastate pipeline regulation to include transportation of carbon dioxide as well as authorized CPUC regulated gas corporations to invest in carbon capture and sequestration or utilization to reduce GHG emissions per state goals. 

Two bills relevant bills in this area were enrolled: SB 27 (Skinner), which would require a natural and working land strategy that includes GHG removal targets for 2030 and beyond and the creation of registry for carbon removal projects; and SB 596 (Becker), which would require the creation of a cement sector net-zero emissions strategy by 2045. These bills reflect a willingness to address one sector directly as well as to put the legislative stamp on CARB’s ongoing efforts over potential GHG removal and sequestration using natural and working lands.  

The following lists some of the notable bills that are enrolled or chaptered at this point in the legislative session.

Greenhouse Gas Reductions and Climate Impacts

  • SB 27 (Skinner): Carbon Sequestration State Goals and Natural and Working Land Registry of Projects
  • SB 596 (Becker): GHG: Cement Sector Net-Zero Emissions Strategy
  • AB 1147 (Friedman): Regional Transportation Plan: Active Transportation Program
  • SB 1 (Atkins): Coastal Resources- Sea Level Rise Mitigation
  • SB 83 (Allen): Sea Level Rise Revolving Loan Program

Air Quality

  • AB 1346 (Berman): Small-Off Road Engine Regulation

Renewable Energy: Offshore Wind Capacity and Biomass Development

  • AB 525 (Chiu):Offshore Wind Generation
  • AB 843 (Aguiar-Curry): RPS: BioMAT Programs and CCAs
  • AB 322 (Salas): Electric Program Investment Charge- Biomass

Transportation: Zero Emission Priorities

  • SB 671 (Gonzalez): Clean Freight Corridor Efficiency Assessment
  • SB 372 (Leyva): Medium- and Heavy-duty Fleet Purchasing Assistance Program: Zero-emission Vehicles
  • SB 500 (Min): Autonomous Vehicle: Zero Emissions

Transportation: Fuel Cells Infrastructure and Development

  • SB 643 (Archuleta): Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Fuel Production: Statewide Assessment

California Public Utilities Commission

  • AB 242 (Holden): CPUC reporting on EE, energy content, grid modernization, and “covered fires” for Wildfire Fund cost recovery

Solar Energy

  • AB 1124 (Friedman): Solar Energy System Definitions and Fees
  • SB 757 (Lemón): Solar Energy System Improvements: Consumer Protection


Finance

  • AB 758 (Nazarian): Marks-Roos Local Bond Pooling Act of 1985: Electric Utilities and Rate Reduction Bonds

CEQA

  • SB 44 (Allen): Streamlined Judicial Review and Environmental Leadership Transit Projects

Safety and Security

  • SB 52 (Dodd): Local Emergencies and Planned Power Outages

Wildfire

  • SB 533 (Stern): Electrical Corporations: Wildfire Mitigation Deenergization Events
  • SB 63 (Stern): Forest Management and Hazard Zones
  • SB 109 (Dodd): Wildfire Technology Research and Development
  • AB 619 (Calderon): Planning for public health impacts from air quality events from wildfire and other causes
  • AB 9 (Wood): Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation
  • AB 642 (Friedman): Identification and Classification of Risk
  • AB 1570 (Committee on Natural Resources): State Assistance to Prevent High Intensity Wildfires

Notable chaptered bills to date include:

  • AB 473: Require publicly-owned utilities to account for electrification of transportation in their long-term integrated resource plans (IRPs), including education and outreach implementation,  and their rate design.
  • AB 708: Allows water agencies to declare a water shortage condition emergency without a public hearing in the event of a deenergization event.

About Joe Kaatz

Staff Attorney at the Energy Policy Initiatives Center, University of San Diego School of Law.
This entry was posted in Air Pollution, CEQA, climate planning, CPUC, Energy, Energy Efficiency, GHGs, Greenhouse Gas, Legislation, Renewable Energy, Transportation, Water and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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